Lacking the numbers to field a full team this season, Avenel’s Under 18 squad has now merged with Longwood’s junior side in the Kyabram District Football League.
Moving forward, the Under 18 team will be known as Avenel Longwood, or the Redleg Swans.
Avenel club president Bruce Rowley said it was great to see the two clubs come together to find a solution for both clubs’ young players.
‘‘This lack of numbers is being felt by all clubs, it’s a significant issue across the state,’’ Rowley said.
‘‘But we wanted to keep the kids in the game and involved in sports.’’
Across the two clubs, there were a combined 16 players registered.
So, in a meeting three weeks ago, Rowley and Longwood’s club president Ricki Shiner presented their amalgamation plan to the league to get the tick of approval.
The merger will only run across the current season, although there are further plans to review at the end of the year.
The new team will also split the remaining home games at both Avenel and Longwood, with the clubs set to put together a plan to minimise travel for the players.
The new team played its first official game as Avenel Longwood on Saturday, facing Tallygaroopna at Avenel Recreation Reserve.
The Redleg Swans were three points shy of the lead at three-quarter-time, before four unanswered goals to Tallygaroopna in the final quarter pushed out the visitor’s winning margin.
Final score: Avenel Longwood 5.8 (38) lost to Tallygaroopna 10.9 (69)
Goals: C. Johnstone, B. Hocking, Z. Macleod, R. Graham, J. Sepulveda.
Best: B. Hocking, Z. Macleod, J. Sepulveda, C. Johnstone, N. Mawson, L. Harvey.