MPJFL comments blindside Mt Eliza

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THE Mornington Peninsula Junior Football League has backflipped on comments made two weeks ago about their scheduling difficulties for the junior footy finals series.

MPJFL senior vice president Paul Lonsdale said that fixturing finals had been difficult because Mt Eliza had “shot us down” and that the league would make every effort to get games scheduled on Sundays next year (“Sports’ fixtures creates finals fiasco”, The Times, 13/8/18).

Those comments have now been taken back in a statement provided by the league to The Times.

“The MPJFL Executive team did not ask or discuss with Mt Eliza the possibility of hosting finals this season and Mt Eliza did not shoot us down,” the statement said.

“The Mt Eliza Junior Football Club have been fantastic in their support of the MPJFL and have recently allowed us to use their ground for the under 10s carnival this season after we struggled to find a suitable ground.”

Mt Eliza Junior Football Club president Brett Macpherson confirmed that the original comments made by the MPJFL were misleading, and that the club had received no approach from the league to host finals matches.

“They didn’t approach me. Nobody that I’ve spoken to from the junior club has been approached,” he said.

Macpherson said the club “would definitely have sat down to have a chat to them” if the league had approached them about hosting junior finals game on their three ovals at Emil Madsen Reserve. The venue is not currently hosting seniors’ finals games.

The league also said in their statement that “the MPJFL and their clubs passed bylaws in March 2018 that stated that the MPJFL can schedule games on Friday night, Saturdays, Saturday nights, and Sundays as well as mid week due to the increasing numbers in football.”

“This is not the first year that the MPJFL have had finals on a Saturday and won’t be the last.

“From what the league can ascertain our finals fixture on Saturday will affect the under 13s Girls age group for the netball finals starting on the 25th of August.

“We have tried to make contact today to discuss exactly what age groups our finals schedule will affect to see what changes can be made to ours and netballs finals fixture from next week on to cater for netball but have yet to have our calls returned. We are confident that we can come to a suitable resolution.”

No changes have yet been made to the finals schedule, and games will continue to be played on Saturdays.

MPJFL President Andrew Souter is currently interstate and could not be reached for comment before publication deadline.

First published in the Frankston Times – 3 September 2018

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