By David Nagel
Not even the humble and much-loved footy record has survived the technological tsunami sweeping the world after the South East Football Netball League’s decision to go digital in 2017.
Supporters of all nine clubs in SEFNL were left bemused on Saturday as gatekeepers gave a blank look to their request for a staple of Australian Rules football since 1912.
Supporters who have contacted the Gazette said they had no idea the change was being implemented and were confused watching the Round 1 fixture, with new players in new jumper numbers at each club hard to distinguish.
According to SEFNL Leagues Manager Liz Triffitt, the change was brought about after all club presidents were surveyed about the future of the booklet.
SEFNL now sends the completed digital copy to the clubs on Friday, with the clubs responsible for printing their own versions prior to the Saturday fixture.
The footy record is also available via the TeamApp smartphone app.
“We surveyed the clubs and the general consensus came back that printing the records was a waste of time and money,” Triffitt said.
“Obviously there was concern for the die-hard supporter, but clubs were throwing half of their allocation into the bin so it was decided to trial a digital record this season. It’s up to the clubs now to print off the team lists after they’ve been sent to them on Fridays.”
Triffitt agreed that communicating the change could have been handled better, but said there were positives to come from the move.
“We’ve had 3000 views online and the clubs now have the opportunity to create links to their websites, to an event they may be hosting, and even links to their sponsors,” she said.
Club presidents were mixed with their views, one describing the change to digital as the “worst decision he had ever seen,” while another said “the inconvenience was bigger than he thought.”
One club president said his club had definitely not agreed to the change to digital and would only have done so if the on-line version was run in conjunction with a hard copy.
“And we’re still getting charged for a record they’re not producing anymore,” the president said.
Another said he was not fussed by the changed and it was just another sign of the times.
Most agreed that printing the digital version would add costs to their clubs and would put further pressure on the volunteers that support their clubs.
By David Nagel