VAFA Statement: Old Mentonians FC

Posted on - Latest News, Featured, Premier C Men's, Mentone Panthers

Old Mentonians Football Club have today officially advised the VAFA that they are not in a position to field any football teams in season 2023.

VAFA Senior Management and Board members have been working closely with Old Mentonians’ Executive Committee members since the conclusion of the 2022 season, providing advice and supporting the successful application to Council for a new ground tenancy at Le Page Park.

VAFA CEO Jason Reddick stated, “As a valued member club in our competition for over 50 years, we wanted to give the new Old Mentonians Committee every opportunity to register teams in Men’s, Women’s and potentially Under 19 Men’s competitions in 2023.

“Together we have explored numerous options but despite the best efforts (including the support of some fellow VAFA Clubs), the number of players exiting the Club was too much to overcome this year.

“I note that the VAFA is currently reviewing the rules and considering reinstating a limit on the number of players that can transfer from one VAFA Club to another in any one year. This is a rule that the VAFA previously had in place, and we know it currently exists in other metropolitan leagues.

“We will continue to work with the Old Mentonians Committee in re-establishing their Club’s on field presence and look forward to them re-entering teams into the VAFA competition in 2024.”

Old Mentonians President John Thompson said, “It’s a been a difficult few years for a lot of sporting clubs, unfortunately for the Old Mentonians we were faced with significant challenges that we have been unable to overcome to field sides in season 2023.

“The Old Mentonians is a long-standing member of over 50 years with the VAFA and I’d like to thank the VAFA for their support and assistance through this difficult time.

“We are a proud club and a club that possess a dedicated committee, prepared to rebuild strong and return for season 2024.”

VAFA have confirmed to all Premier C Men’s Club Presidents that the 2023 Men’s competition would proceed with nine Clubs, resulting in an additional two byes in the fixture.

The VAFA received feedback from, and had held several discussions with, other Divisional Men’s Clubs about rising up the Sections to fill the gap, but there was no Club appetite for this and the knock-on effect along the Men’s Sections was unpalatable to multiple teams.

The 2023 Premier C Men’s Section will now proceed with only the bottom team to be relegated at year end, with the two grand finalists from Division 1 Men’s to be promoted to Premier C Men’s in 2024 and restore the competition to 10 teams.