Recruit-starved Tigers welcome player cap change

Lancefield's Ben Anderson. Picture Shawn Smits.

Lancefield Football Club will have more options to recruit after being given extra points in its player cap.

The Tigers were one of eight Riddell District Football League clubs to apply to AFL Goldfields, which oversees the competition, for extra points on top of the 42 allocated to each team.

Six clubs were successful. The Tigers and Wallan get six extra points, Broadford, Rockbank and Woodend-Hesket were handed an extra three points, while Melton Centrals are allowed two extra points.

Diggers Rest and Macedon had their applications for a boost rejected.

AFL Victoria announced earlier this year that a statewide player points cap would be introduced next season to help even up the competitions.

Tigers’ president Tony McKay said the extra points were very welcome.

“We struggle to attract local players, let alone get people to come out to the club.

“Kilmore wants to go to the Northern Football League. We are as far north as them and only a small country town.

“A lot of players would rather play football closer to home. I’m not saying the extra points is the total answer, but it is at least something. It could give us a bit more of an option.”

The Tigers got the extra points for lack of recent on-field success and their small population base; thus the need to recruit players.

The club also hasn’t had under-16 and under-18 teams for the past two seasons. McKay said he was hoping the club would have under-16s next season.

“It’s a cycle that clubs go through … you have to look outside the square for players. Not having under-16s and under-18s, the players go elsewhere and don’t come back.”

McKay said the club wanted to add three or four players next year. He said this year’s playing group had been re-signed before the season ended. “We thought we would have gone better this season … we had hoped to leapfrog clubs like Macedon and Broadford, but credit to them they were able to bring in sponsorship and players. You have to keep ahead of the pack.”

While disappointed with the football results, McKay was thrilled with the netball teams. Three of the four teams made finals, with the B-graders making the grand final. Netballers now want to come on board, he said.

Kevin Sheedy will be guest speaker at the club on October 29. Details: