Boost for local AFL

THERE are strong indications the North Coast AFL will be extended to seven teams next season, with a Nambucca-Bellingen entity confident of receiving the green light to join the league.

Representatives from the proposed club will meet with NCAFL president, Jim Woodlock, on Saturday to discuss criteria that needs to be met before the club officially joins the league.

The club will also need to put its case forward at a league meeting before it's inclusion is officially rubber-stamped.

But Woodlock said little will stop Nambucca-Bellingen getting the go-ahead if it meets all the selection criteria.

Nambucca-Bellingen spokes-man Barry Toohey said initial signs are positive for the club's inclusion.

"At this point we are pretty confident," Toohey said.

"We look like having no problems in getting a senior side and the Under-18s are looking good too."

Toohey is also confident the club can compete from its first match.

"We have got a couple of good prospects," he said.

"There are a few who have played in different areas and moved here and others who played seniors for Nambucca about 10 years ago and want to dust off the cobwebs and have a run."

Toohey said the new club may yet be known simply as Nambucca.

"We are not sure at this stage whether it will be Nambucca-Bellingen or just Nambucca," he said.

"Representatives from Bellingen will be invited to the meeting and we hope people from Bellingen juniors will be involved.

"If it is a combined effort we will look at coming up with a new logo and share home grounds between Macksville and Bellingen.

"Otherwise we will probably be called the Lions and be based at Macksville."

Woodlock welcomed the move to expand the league.

"It will be terrific if the club can get up and running and hopefully we can expand to eight teams in the future," he said.

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