AFTER nine years of presiding over the KNTFL, Kym Hebberman is set to step down from his role as league president.
On grand final day he told the Herald of his plans to step down at the league's AGM next month.
He anointed former Penola president Michael Mourbey as the man to step into the league's top job.
"Michael is very keen, he'll do a good job," Hebberman remarked.
"You need a fair bit of keenness, there's quite a few after hours jobs to do."
Hebberman has been involved in the league since in various roles as a player, coach and administrator.
He took over the league presidency in 2004 and has seen many highlights in his time in the league.
The KNTFL's incredibly strong interleague performances have been a source of much pleasure - he took over interleague in 2000 and the league performed greatly at representative level.
"Our interleague performances have been second to none, it's been quite a privilege to be involved in that, people want to play us," he said.
But Hebberman didn't take all the credit.
"I've been privileged to have some great coaches in Daniel Clark, Jon Copping, Nigel Fiegert and those sort of guys, Dean Woosnam as well," he said. "We just had a great nucleus of people."
But it hasn't always been smooth sailing for the president.
"Some of the highlights that have caused me a few headaches were the merger of Edenhope and Apsley and then them deciding to leave," he remembered.
"No league likes to lose teams - we tried pretty hard to persuade them to stay in the KNTFL."
This season the injury to Kingston player Trent Rothall, the drama surrounding Penola player Luke Duncan's suspension and the impending southern border review have also been big issues to tackle.
Four years ago Hebberman was responsible for the appointment of a CEO of the league, something that has held the league in great stead.
"The appointment of a CEO has been great - that was one great innovation and has put the league in good order and in good stead for the future."
Aside from an increased skill level, Hebberman said football hadn't changed much over the years.
"Everybody always says it gets quicker (but) the game hasn't changed that much, it's still a game of kick and catch basically," he said.
The arrival of more Adelaide recruits over recent years has been a major talking point.
"Rightly or wrongly we do recruit a lot of high profile guys from Adelaide and that keeps the standard of the league pretty high," Hebberman said. "Our locals benefit from having that increased competition."
He said the spending of money on players by clubs may be neccessary for smaller clubs to keep their football teams going.
"It might just be a necessary evil - how long they can keep doing it for I'm not sure," he said.
"It's more about keeping the community going - if you look at the numbers of people in some of these towns they just don't have enough players to fill so occasionally you need to get somebody to help out.
"It's about the community, it's about that Saturday afternoon gathering of the community.
"It's about Saturday and in the end win, lose or draw it'll happen again next Saturday."
When asked about which team has been the most dominant in the time he's been involved in the league, Hebberman didn't even need to think.
"It's a pretty easy one - you can't go past Mundulla," he told the Herald.
"Their set-up and the amount of premierships they've won during the 90s are second to none, if you look at the statistics most teams have managed to be at the top and down the bottom and Mundulla have always been up the top or in the middle."
And a favourite son of the Penola Football Club rates as the greatest footballer he has seen in the league.
"Another very easy one - I think for me Jon Copping, he never won a medal in the KNTFL but did pretty well down the WBFL," he said.
He described Naracoorte's Dean Woosnam as the best coach he has seen.
Now that he's stepping down, Hebberman said he will remain a neutral figure in the league.
"I came down here in 1989, I coached Borders, I coached Apsley - who are not here anymore, I had a son who played for Naracoorte, Lucindale and Kingston," he listed.
"Dare I say I have a fair spattering of allegiances if you can call them that, yes I live in the Naracoorte area but I'm also 10km from Kyby - I think I'll just stay neutral."
And he signalled his non-commitment to a single team may remain handy.
"Within the league's structure I think there is a role for someone that's neutral - there's still a role for someone who can maintain some neutral views."