BATHURST Bushrangers are pleased - for the most part - with the changes to the upcoming 2020 AFL Central West competition which were outlined over the weekend.
Bushrangers were thrilled to learn the two-tier system has been confirmed for the season though they weren't entirely on board with the reduction from an 18-a-side competition to a 16 player setup.
Bushrangers have been the leading force behind the push for a two-tier competition, so it comes as little surprise club president Alex Sparks cut a happy figure following the news.
"It's something that we've wanted for quite a while. We think that's the right thing to do to grow the game in this region, and it's a unique region so we need to be flexible in what we do to allow those numbers to grow," he said.
"Going to two tiers will be something great for the future."
The Bushrangers earlier this pre-season announced the two-man coaching combination of Tim Hunter and Matt Archer would make a return this year - anticipating the two-tier system would go ahead.
The club are expected to announced their reserve grade and women's coaches in the near future.
Switching from the traditional 18-a-side to 16-a-side setup wasn't a decision welcomed by the Orange Tigers earlier this week, and similar sentiments have been echoed by the Bushrangers.
Sparks wasn't surprised to see the change, given it hasn't come from out of the blue, though he believes the intention of the change has somewhat lost its relevance.
"We want to be playing AFL as traditionally as possible ... but this structure has been on the table for over a year now," he said.
"The reason they brought it in was to try and get the likes of Dubbo, Giants and Orange to bring a second team in. Given that only one of those got up, with Orange, we probably don't think it's needed.
"If Dubbo come in with another team then yes it makes sense, to give them the best shot of getting that second team, but with Giants saying they definitely won't field a second team it's probably a little more irrelevant.
"We all have to make sacrifices to help grow the game though. With so many players of different abilities wanting to play the game it's a sacrifice that's worth making."
Sparks said the club was indifferent to the decision of cutting quarters from 25 to 22 minutes.
"It's probably something we won't notice that much," he said.
"They've got all the research to suggest that a lot of blowouts are made in the last quarter so they're perhaps trying to curb that."