THE troubled Macleay Valley Mustangs will be given 10 days to affiliate with Group Three Rugby League for the 2019 premiership.
The club wasn’t represented at the group’s annual meeting last Sunday at the Wingham Services Club. Acting Group Three chief executive officer Barrie Smith said he has had no contact with the club.
“I’ve heard they have a new president but I haven’t been able to contact anyone associated with the Mustangs,’’ Mr Smith said.
He said clubs decided at the annual meeting to give the Mustangs a 10 day window to affiliate with the group for next season. If this happens the group will run with a pre-season followed by a two round competition.
However, if the Mustangs are out the 2019 draw will either be three rounds with 18 games or a two round plus two games, making 14. This could also include a pre-season.
“The delegates will take these options back to their clubs to decide which they prefer.’’
Mr Smith said the most favoured option will be the 2019 draw.
“We won’t be having another meeting. The voting will determine what the draw is,’’ Mr Smith added.
He said delegates rejected two round draw involving seven clubs.
“This would be only 12 games and the delegates said this was too short.’’
Mr Smith pointed out that the group has run with a two round and two game competition in the past. For many years when the group only had seven clubs a three round, 18 game draw was the norm.
Macleay joined Group Three from Group Two in 2014 and won the premiership that year. However, the Mustangs were forced to sit out 2015 for disciplinary reasons. Macleay returned in 2016 and missed the semi-finals but were grand finalists in 2017.
However, there was an exodus before the start of this year’s competition, with players heading to either Hastings League clubs or other Group Three clubs.
Macleay didn’t have sufficient numbers to field senior teams last season, initially withdrawing from reserve grade before forfeiting all first grade games after being thrashed by Wingham at Kempsey on June 30.
Macleay teams in under 18.5s and women’s league tag and both fulfilled commitments, with the 18s making the semi-finals.
There are two Macleay-based clubs playing in the Hastings League.
The Argus has approached the Mustangs for comment.
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