By Nick Creely
The Doveton Football Netball Club’s move to a neighbouring competition is locked in for season 2022.
The Doves have confirmed that they are on the move next season, with the club’s football and netball teams to call the Southern Football Netball League (SFNL) home moving forward.
Just a few years after the club’s famous 2019 senior football premiership in AFL Outer East’s Division 1, it’s a big move for the mighty Doves from Robinson Reserve who will enter the ranks of Division 2 in their first season.
In a statement by Doves president John Stapleton, he outlined the main catalyst for the move.
“The Club has undertaken its due diligence to determine our way forward which is based on the long-term future and sustainability of the Doveton Football Netball Club,” he said.
“The Club determined our best option after ongoing discussions, appropriate due diligence that the Southern Football Netball League (SFNL) was our best fit for the long-term future of our Club in a Metropolitan based Competition which is perfectly aligned to the SFNL Club locations.
“The DFNC is appreciative of the support and professionalism shown throughout the application process from Lee Hartman (CEO – SFNL) and the SFNL Board.”
The Doves have said that “Retention, “Recruitment”, “Participation” and “Travel/Location of competing clubs” is the aspiration moving forward – one fostering sustainability and success for the long-term future of the club.
“(These) key factors are vitally important for our players, coaches, support staff, members, volunteers, and Sponsors as they are the key stakeholders of the DFNC,” he said.
“The DFNC boasts a strong heritage through generations of families and the local community.
“We have a responsibility to ensure that the Club has a sustained future and want to ensure that we continue to provide a friendly family environment and quality participation experience for Football and Netball.”
It’s been an eventful off-season after a disappointing 2021 senior season, with champion Eastern league forward Michael Cardamone signing on as the new senior coach, replacing club great Daniel Charles, while the Doves have been busy re-signing its senior list, including stars such as Matt Stapleton, Sam Muirhead, Max Sheppard, Daniel Zajac, Tyson Bellinger, Jake Basa, James Gascard, Luca Daidone, Harley Primrose and Matt Jameson.
The Doves have announced that defender Josh Viney has returned to the club after a year off in 2021, while Oakleigh Districts midfielder Harry Seymour has also joined the club, the Doves are hoping one of its prized recruits from 2020, Austin Deneys will get on the park, while ex-Melbourne champion Russell Robertson is on board as a specialist forwards coach.
Stapleton said it’s been an enjoyable three years in the Outer East competition and wished them well.
“We would like to thank the Outer East Board and Executive for the opportunity and their continued support to participate in their League over the past three years where we will remain as part of their history with our Division One Football and C Grade Netball Premierships in 2019,” he said.