THE SE Working Party's final recommendations report for football in the region was released recently.
KNTFL president and working party member Michael Mourbey said the report would not be acted on straight away, but was about putting structures in place for the future.
"What I can say is the report is not proposing any immediate changes," he told the Herald.
"It's looking at the future of footy in the SE and options/scenarios going forward.
"It's not the intent of the working party to force anything on clubs or leagues."
The report's findings include:
- That the composition of the current three league format - the KNTFL, Western Border and Mid SE leagues - will change, with a two league competition which is not promotion/relegation believed to be sustainable.
- The formation of a regional commission/regional administration centre to help support all leagues, clubs, groups and associations would be extremely beneficial to all stakeholders.
- Any league can still consult with clubs to join their leagues in line with SA Community Football's rules and regulations.
- Volunteer support is a concern and needs to be monitored to ensure clubs can continue to operate at an acceptable level.
- Reserves football playing numbers is an issue and competitions need to consider alternative team number rules for reserves football in some cases.
The report recommended a number of changes, including the establishment of the regional commission, possibly merging clubs that surround large populations and with unsuitable facilities, the start up of a new club in Mount Gambier (first through juniors and then evolve from there), establishing a central umpiring body in Mount Gambier with satellite hubs in the KNT and Mid SE leagues and investigating the potential for a junior football hub (under 10 and under 12 competitions) in larger population centres.
Other recommendations involve perhaps reducing games to 16 a side for all grades below the senior team and reducing the number of teams competing per club for struggling clubs (although putting plans in place to once again fill all teams in the future).
One idea Mr Mourbey felt had a lot of merit was establishing a weekend-long zone carnival from next year, involving the Western Border, Mid SE, River Murray and KNT leagues.
Each league would contribute $1500 to a fund which would continue to accumulate to assist with accommodation costs (so if the carnival was hosted in the SE funds would be available for the RMFL and vice versa).
This idea is already in the works, potentially to take over the traditional interleague clash as early as next year.
"We've tentatively got it pencilled in for one weekend in 2014," Mr Mourbey said.
"We're very hopeful of getting all four leagues in...it's a great regional concept, it's got a lot of merit."
The recommendation report made no reference to Penola leaving the KNTFL despite the WBFL still chasing hard for the 2013 premiers to rejoin their league after a hiatus of 25 years.
"Obviously Western Border are keen but my understanding is they (Penola) are not interested in moving," Mr Mourbey said.
A concern in the lead-up to the report was the notion the review had the intent of "propping up" the WBFL at the expense of the two more region-based leagues in the SE, which Mr Mourbey specified was not the case.
"I suppose to a degree the review is Mount Gambier-centric (but) we have to be realistic, Mount Gambier is the second largest regional centre in SA and we need to keep that league running," he said.
"We're still very conscious of the other two leagues."