Border Mail | THE biggest shake-up to the structure of football in the North-East and southern NSW in decades has been floated by a former Ovens and Murray coach and leading player.
Ben Hollands' blueprint for the future has been rolled out a time when the code is struggling on multiple fronts.
Under his model no existing club will fold and women's football will be embraced.
But the Ovens and Murray Football League's reserves competition will be a casualty and replaced by a women's competition and an additional under-age competition created.
Formal alliances between O and M clubs and up to five district league clubs in close proximity would be struck to cater for existing reserves players each week.
For example, Corowa-Rutherglen, which has struggled to put a reserves team on the ground for the past two seasons, would team up with Rutherglen, Billabong Crows, CDHBU and Wahgunyah.
Hollands experienced first-hand the impact of club zones when he played for SANFL club West Adelaide and said recent introductions of the player points system (PPS) and salary caps would eventually even out the O and M.
But he said player numbers had reached crisis levels and required immediate attention.