New Barossa, Light and Gawler Football Association president Mick Brien has hit the ground running.
Mr Brien was elected president at the association’s annual general meeting last Wednesday night but already has plans in action.
He has organised an inaugural president’s forum for Sunday, February 8 next year at the Vine Inn, Nuriootpa, is in talks with the Riverland Association regarding senior and junior colts representative matches, and has been able to confirm the ongoing major sponsorship of Grant Burge Wines.
Mr Brien, a longtime league director, is the BL&GFA’s fourth president in the space of just over 12 months.
Longtime president Robin “Nobby” Symes stood down at the end of the 2013 season with Rick Pearson elected but unfortunately he had to step down mid-term for personal reasons, with Len Warren stepping into the breach but he made the decision to stand down as a director at the end of the season.
“We have actually beaten the South Australian National Football League with the decision to run a president’s forum,” Mr Brien said.
“Todd Thorne, from the SANFL has been invited to the forum, and he said it was an idea the league was progressing but we had beaten them to it.
“The forum will allow the clubs to put forward ideas about how to handle different situations. Last year we had the problem with a spectator coming onto the ground so it will be good to set a template for how to handle an issue like that. It will be an open discussion and should be a positive for allowing the association to go forward.”
Mr Brien said he had spoken with a representative from Grant Burge Wines and could confirm the company would continue to be the association’s major sponsor until 2020.
“Grant and Helen Burge are fantastic supporters of the association and that is why they were keen to confirm the sponsorship to 2020 several years ago. When the sale of their winery took place recently, part of the agreement was that the sponsorship would continue.”
As part of junior development, Mr Brien said he was keen to see representative football made available for the Senior and Junior Colts players.
“We are currently talking with the Riverland league and hopefully can organise games for the zone weekend,” he said.
“It is important to give our colts the chance to develop, and have the honour to represent the association.”
Mr Brien said the 2015 program had been approved.
No night games have been scheduled at this stage.
“We have left it with Gawler Central, which has the lights around the ground, to negotiate with another club which would be happy to play at night.
“The association is happy to allow a night game but would suggest it needs to be early in the season and not during the winter months.”
Mr Brien said it was good to see representatives of the BL&G’s Netball Association attend the annual general meeting.
“President Bridey Lewis and two of the executive came along and we intend working closely with the netball association to grow the league.”