After reviewing proposed changes to Northern Inland Football's (NIF) senior competition for the upcoming season, Inverell FC have shown their support.
At the end of last year, the sport's governing body revealed a new name and new look for seniors; the 2020 Northern Inland Premier Division Competition which will be split into two conferences, Northern and Southern.
Teams in both the Northern and Southern conference will field a First Grade and Reserve Grade side, competing over 14 rounds, with a four-week cross conference finals series to determine the champion.
However, the Armidale clubs became disgruntled with NIF's administration and, despite Northern NSW Football stepping in to address concerns, have opted to depart and join a new, rebel competition in 2020, run by the University of New England.
Inverell FC president James Sweeney spoke about a recent media statement released by Northern NSW Football (NNSWF) this week addressing the issue of all Armidale teams disaffiliating for the 2020 season.
Northern NSW Football is the peak body charged by Football Federation Australia (FFA) to oversee the administration, growth and development of the region's largest sport.
The statement said: "It was very disappointing ahead of the agreed release of NNSWF's response that Demon Knights Football Club, South Armidale United FC, Armidale City Westside FC and Norths United FC informed us in their online survey of their intention to disaffiliate and enter competitions conducted by UNE.
"We can only assume that the clubs have consulted directly with their members about the ramifications of not being affiliated to NIF, NNSWF and the FFA."
As for Inverell, Sweeney said as a football club with a junior base of over 350 members, the goal is to offer opportunities and avenues for juniors to have a pathway to grow and develop.
"We understand the issues that have been raised by all parties and club officials in our local football area. Upon review and receiving the proposed changes Inverell FC Committee are happy to support NNSWF's proposal for the Northern Division Senior Competition 2020," he said.
"NIF continue to support our club with NNSW support and the ongoing assistance with programs, grant opportunities and training continue to add value to our club. Also with our affiliation we continue to have all players FFA memberships allowing us to attend club carnivals and other football affiliated competitions.
"Our registrations are open for juniors. We offer a great Saturday competition and look forward to having a fun, safe, environment where kids can play and learn to love this great game. As per last year, carnival and rep teams will be running again for all interested and we look forward to supporting other towns."
For any enquires, contact Inverell FC by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.