Traditional AFL rivals tipped to combine
CHANGES are in the wind for AFL North Coast with a new club to be known as Coffs Harbour Breakers tipped to emerge in the 2015 season.
The proposed club will emerge by pooling the resources of North Coffs Kangaroos and Coffs Harbour Swans to create stand-alone senior, reserve and under-18 teams.
Talk of merger proposals in previous years has always stalled.
On this occasion, each club is being sounded out on a formal basis by AFL Northern NSW regional manager Rob McKelvie.
"An interim committee has been put in place to work on the establishment of the club and its infrastructure and with only a few meetings under their belt, progress is very positive and impressive," McKelvie said in an update to clubs.
"This merge obviously brings the competition back to five senior sides.
"However, the AFL North Coast board and AFL NSW/ACT have already commenced work with the Macleay Valley Eagles Football Club by providing guidance and support in relation to fielding a senior side in 2015.
"From the optimism and energy shown at the first meeting, we are confident this will happen.
"This means North Coast will have six senior clubs represented in under-18s and seniors.
"Our collective goal from 2015 is to be free from forfeits in those grades."
North Coffs president Keith Wilson is not averse to the merger scheme but questions if the structure will be ready in time for the start of next season.
"Can it be physically done in time is the first question I'd have to ask," Wilson said.
"I'd also want the two clubs to retain their identity in some way so that all that history isn't lost and there's a pathway there for future expansion."