AFL Riverina says it still hasn't received any formal feedback from clubs on the proposed name changes to the Riverina and Farrer League competitions, despite a public eruption following the controversial announcement they'd be renamed the AFL Riverina Premier Division and AFL Riverina Community Division respectively.
As momentum gathers for Farrer clubs to unite behind a push to leave their league alone - with former president David Oehm the latest figure to weigh in, with support - there appears some frustration at AFL Riverina that after two years of working through a review and restructure, opposition has suddenly exploded.
AFL Riverina chairman Michael Irons offered a statement to The Daily Advertiser saving debate until Sunday's annual general meeting.
"To date the AFL Riverina Board haven't received any formal correspondence from clubs providing feedback on the competition name changes," Irons said.
"We have our AGM on Sunday where we will give an update on the implementation of the Competition Review report and it will be a discussion topic then."
The review was announced in 2018 and recommendations announced in August 2019 which, after COVID, were delayed to be implemented in 2023.
The key factor was implementing a tiered leagues system, aiming to encourage growth and improvement in the Riverina League (Premier Division) alongside a 'community' competition that allows for clubs to field three, two or potentially even one football grade if they hit tough times.
Concerns about the model became a powderkeg about the whole restructure after the decision to dump the league's identity.
"You can't just wipe a league's tradition and history away without giving some severe thought and explanation to why you're doing it," former Farrer League president David Oehm said.
"I just think it's totally wrong to wipe the fabric of the Farrer League out."
Oehm stepped down after 10 years as president last year and was initially reluctant to speak out.
But, rattling off Eric Feeney from The Rock as the league's first Baz Medallist in 1957, said a rich history was too important to disappear.
"I couldn't just sit back," said Oehm, who was a long term secretary at The Rock-Yerong Creek, then had 10 years as Farrer League publicity officer and a decade as president.
"I'm very passionate about it. I've been involved with the Farrer League for 45 or 50 yeras since I was a kid playing at The Rock.
"I realised there was going to be change but I didn't realise they were going to lose the names."
Oehm supports Marrar president John Carroll's call for Farrer League clubs to unite in a 'hands off our league' mission.
"Yes, and I think the greater percentage of Farrer League clubs would vote along with that," he said.
Coleambally are on board.
"Definitely, that's the way we want it to go," Blues president Glen Tooth said.
"We wouldn't be going for the premier league and definitely feel with this community comp, that our time would be limited. Especially if it's splitting the firsts and reserves in different directions (if clubs don't have all grades).
"I think it's trying to build a Wagga-centric competition and it'll push the little clubs out. I don't know what's next. It's not a real good situation."
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