No changes: General manager Steve Mackney.
No changes: General manager Steve Mackney.

Northern Zone revamp dumped

FOOTBALL Far North Coast general manager Steve Mackney yesterday put the final nail in the coffin of Joe Scholl’s proposed Northern Zone competition.

Declaring the revamp a “no go” for season 2011 at least, Mackney said nominated clubs were unwilling to put pen to paper and commit, and hence no changes would be made before the upcoming season kicks off.

“We have our annual general meeting tonight to finalise arrangements, but I can tell you there will be no restructuring this year,” Mackney said.

“There are simply not enough teams willing to commit to pursue Joe’s suggested model.”

Following the gradual demise of several Tweed-based football clubs, including most notably Banora Point, Murwillumbah Saints and Tumbulgum, Scholl led a strong drive throughout the 2010-11 off-season aimed at rectifying the perceived causes.

Foremost on the list was travel, quickly followed by sponsors, with the general consensus suggesting the scale of the region beneath the FFNC banner was too great. A series of phone calls and meetings ensued and it was understood Scholl had the support of Tweed clubs playing in both the Gold Coast and FFNC.

However, when push came to shove, the Uki mentor found himself alone in front of goal.

The Pythons were the only club to respond to the survey issued by FFNC requesting clubs to either commit to or forgo the proposed Northern Zone competition, and hence Scholl’s efforts ultimately came undone. “While clubs may have verbally expressed interest to Joe, the fact remains that when it came down to it, I only received one reply to the correspondence sent out and it was Uki,” Mackney said.

“I subsequently held discussions with the four Tweed-based clubs and they confirmed they were not in a position to commit.

But Mackney was very quick not to discourage active voices within FFNC, stating that he will always take the utilitarian view.

FFNC is expected to employ a traditional 10-team first division, with Burringbar, Kingscliff, Uki, Bangalow, Byron Bay, Dunoon and District, Goonellabah, Lennox Head, Richmond and South Lismore the likely candidates.



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