Dial M for merger

IT'S time for the Clarence Valley league clubs to sit down and talk about the M word ? mergers.

Another season has come and gone with Clarence teams ? barring Lower's Under-18s ? having nothing to show for it.

It's understandable that there is a reluctance to take this drastic step and lose the identity that a club has built up through decades of proud playing history.

Indeed there have been times when the passion behind wearing a Ghost, Rebel or Magpie jumper helped get these teams over the line.

Sadly, this is the case no longer.

Increasingly juniors the clubs develop leave the area before they can make a significant contribution; it's harder for the club officials to raise the sort of money needed to run a semi-professional sport and the costs of putting teams on the paddock just keep growing.

The short answer for the Clarence ? and teams such as Casino and Kyogle on the Richmond ? is to amalgamate.

And if one looks around the league world, merger has not always been a dirty word.

In the days before West Tigers and St George Illawarra, there were Manly Warringah, Canterbury Bankstown and Cronulla Sutherland.

The times forced those changes on clubs and now the times are indicating Clarence teams need to do likewise.

Tim Howard

Sports Editor



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