BATHURST Bushrangers president Brett Archer has welcomed the proposal of a return to two tiers in the Central West AFL competition from next year.
The proposal from the the CWAFL governing body has circulated the idea to all clubs in the competition. The main goal is a return to the competition for clubs who couldn’t field a team this year, such as Young, Mudgee and Cowra.
“The steam is coming from the teams who will benefit from it, like Parkes, Cowra and Young. They’re teams we should be supporting because they’re not competing for a first grade title,” Archer said.
“To have a shot at a grand final at the end of the year will get them motivated and will help them draw more players. The two tier system is certainly something I support.”
The move back to two tiers does pose an interesting question for the Bushrangers: Where do they put their teams?
As it stands the Bushrangers currently field two teams in the senior men’s competition – the Outlaws and Rebels – who have had their top talent evenly split.
Bushrangers have several options if the proposal goes ahead from 2019.
They could maintain the status quo, and repeat that setup, or they could create a top tier team with their leading players while creating a development team in the second tier.
There’s even the chance of creating a development team while maintaining two top tier sides, though this would seem the most unlikely outcome.
The CWAFL initial draft has a Bushrangers development team playing alongside the likes of Cowra, Young and Parkes.
To have a shot at a grand final at the end of the year ... will help them draw more players.Brett Archer, on two-tier impact for smaller clubs
The choice will certainly be impacted by Bushrangers’ club numbers.
Archer said he has no bearing on the final decision and that his playing group will make the call.
“Any decision that affects the playing group is decided by them,” he said.
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“My own preference, and not anything I’d impose on them, is to have one development team for our youngsters and have our more experienced players together. Those development players could then aspire to move up into that top grade.
“We picked up a lot of first year players this year and they’d definitely benefit from not going up against these first grade champions who represent the zone. They’d have the chance to play players of their own calibre.”
The decision on the two-tier system will be discussed on October 21’s AGM, in consultation with the regional committee and AFL NSW.