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NorthPort's picture
Bendigo Gold 2018

With Frankston set to rejoing the competition in 2018, I have been thinking about the possibility of a resurrected Bendigo side in future years.

I still find it incredible that a region as big as Greater Bendigo can not muster the money, or quality of player to make a club work!


1 win and 1 draw in five stand alone seasons will do that to you! Can't see it happening without a company putting some serious coin behind it. Sadly it doesn't seem to be a strong football region anymore, the Pioneers are down near the bottom of the U18 ladder most years too.

NorthPort's picture

Yeah I agree the win/loss ration did them no favours and the at junior level they aren't a strong area in recent years.

Definitely would require big coinage, however, while history may do Bendigo any favours I still would have thought there was enough talent to get a decent side together with a few marquee signings.

I know the local clubs would be dead against it, but even a few all-stars games where Bendigo clubs come together to put a side of on a Saturday night against VFL clubs that would otherwise have the bye.  

Something to try and build some interest in a higher standard of footy in the area.



Can't see how any new clubs could join the VFL in the current environment. Starting from scratch to compete with AFL reserves sides is a big ask.


No chance. The problems started when the Diggers first came in 20 years ago. Strode into town and put all the local clubs and businesses off by trying to take all the players and all the cash. The Pioneers setup is pretty much a jobs for the boys, and all they care about it getting a couple of kids drafted each year, not about results. The guy who coached them for the past two years actually got them competitive, and he got sacked. The Pioneers are about who you know, not what you know.

Then Essendon came in, and never involved Bendigo the city. It was all about Essendon, and once Hird took over, he couldn't get the club out of Bendigo quick enough. Essendon did nothing for Bendigo football whilst they were here, nothing at all.

Clubs need $1million a year to run a decent VFL club, and with NO help from the VFL or AFL, standalones will be gone sooner rather than later. The salary cap of $300k is a joke too, especially when you are trying to compete with AFL clubs who have guys running around on $300k a year. It's an AFL reserves comp, and the VFL don't care about the standalones, I mean, they didn't help Frankston at all. They may help Port and Willy out as they are the be all and end all, but the rest of us, they never gave a crap about.


The VFL dish out a decent amount of coin to stand alone teams. I think the simple reality is it's very difficult to run a stand alone club without a good non-football revenue stream.

Willi has it, Port has it but it apparently isn't what it used to be, Frankston has it now but have to recover from the cost of pokies, and Coburg are disciplined enough to get by without it.

Bendigo were sabotaged 15 or so years ago when they tried to get one, that is probably the moment that VFL football in Bendigo was destined to fail.

Ron Burger
Ron Burger's picture

I can't see how Bendigo could be exhumed from the grave given North Ballarat are about to walk out on the competition and Frankston have, at best, gone into recess for a year. There will be nil support from AFL Victoria for the maintenance or return of these three clubs at VFL level. It's simply a case of "shaking off the tail" until its reduced to a 12 (inc. Port and Willy) or maybe even 10 team AFL reserve league in the next 3-5 years. Development League will wind up at end of 2017. Next step will be to jack up the affiliation fees to price Coburg out of the competition.

Time to take the rose coloured glasses off and be realistic about the future of this competition

vfa's picture

The way things are heading 2018 there might be an afl reserves comp. All 18 afl teams which include the interstate teams. The old vfa teans ?? Not sure but will have to somehow resurrect a vfa comp which includes metro and country teams ? Box hill, werribee and casey maybe gone too as the beloved afl would not want to associate with the vfa teams ? This is the grim reaper report. Being a realist by 2020 you would say the current setup at vfl level gone and the likelihood of an afl reserves comp looking likely.

vfa's picture

From twitter
North Ballarat ‏@NBRoosters · 2h2 hours ago

The Roosters would also like to annouce that senior players @BigO_37, @AndrewJHooper12 and Lachie George re-signed for 2017 last night.

North Ballarat ‏@NBRoosters · 2h2 hours ago
We can confirm we will remain in the @VFL in 2017, our 21st year in the competition.