Borden exit sparks competition fears

Tim EdmundsAlbany Advertiser

The president of the Ongerup Football Association says he has grave concerns for the long-term viability of the competition after Borden Football Club confirmed they would be placed in recess for the 2017 season due to a critical player shortage.

Borden, who have struggled on the field in recent seasons winning only five games in three seasons, including a winless 2016, confirmed last month they would sit out the upcoming season, which starts on April 22.

The Magpies’ exodus from the competition leaves the OFA with only five clubs.

OFA president Kim Parsons said while the situation of losing another club from the competition was “very disappointing”, the association had acknowledged its sustainability was an ongoing issue which needed addressing.

The long-term president said the association was looking to attract clubs to their league.

“We are looking all around in neighbouring leagues; we certainly don’t have our heads in the sand,” he said.

“We are looking in all directions to keep long-term viability; it’s not going to be left to rot.

“We had a nine-club competition for years but it’s population based and an era we are in.”

Borden president Jason Stone said the club would reassess its position before next season and a lack of numbers and quality footballers were the main reasons behind the club’s decision to sit out the season.

“We have relied on travelling and paid players for a number of years,” Stone said.

“In the end, we just had the bare minimum.

“We could have continued maybe for another season but we wouldn’t have been flash.

“We will try but you have to have the interest.”

Three of the club’s Albany-based players Corey Byrne, Sam Baddeley-Holmes and Arana O’Byrne will all play in the Great Southern Football League this season.

Borden will not feature in any of the fixtures of the Ongerup Association Sport in 2017, which also includes hockey and netball.

All fixtures throughout the season against Borden will now be treated as a bye for opposing clubs.

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