Long-serving Queanbeyan Tigers general manager Ron Fowlie believes the AFL Canberra clubs should have been united in either staying or leaving the North East Australian Football League.
AFL Canberra will hold a meeting with clubs on Monday to begin planning for an expanded first-grade competition with the inclusion of the Tigers and the Belconnen Magpies. Both clubs played their final games in the NEAFL on Saturday after pulling out for next season, while Ainslie and Eastlake will remain.
The AFL proposed to have one combined team in Canberra, but the four clubs baulked at the idea when told they would have to provide $150,000 each for it to go ahead.
Fowlie, who will step down as general manager of the Tigers on Tuesday after 28 years in the role, said there should have been a one-in-all-in approach from the Canberra clubs.
“I firmly believe all clubs should have withdrawn or stayed in, and that hasn’t happened, and I think that will be a detriment to the game in the future for a long period of time,” he said.
“I was an advocate for being involved in the NEAFL and I think it’s been a fantastic thing for AFL in Canberra.
“What the AFL wants is a one-team environment from Canberra, so maybe we should have gone straight to that now.”
Fowlie has been on the Tigers’ committee since 1972, but said he made his decision to step down before the changes to the NEAFL competition were announced.
Michael Goiser will take over as general manager.
Fowlie said it “stings the heart a bit” knowing the Tigers might have to send any promising youngsters to Ainslie or Eastlake for the opportunity to play in the NEAFL. “That hurts more so than anything, that we might have to send either of those clubs next year or retain a relationship as a pathway for them.”
Fowlie will retain a voluntary role with the Tigers. Some of his highlights during his time with the club include winning the 1985 premiership, ending a drought of more than 40 years, the three consecutive titles from 1998-2000, the 2012 NEAFL Eastern Conference success and playing at Etihad Stadium last year in the Foxtel Cup.
Meanwhile, Ainslie (sixth) will travel to Darwin to face the NT Thunder (third) in an elimination final at TIO Stadium on Saturday night. Aspley (fourth) will host Redland (fifth) in the other elimination final, while the UWS Giants and the Sydney Swans Reserves have the week off.
This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.