Horsham District league chairman says Kaniva-Leeor United are not guaranteed to join

Chairman says no guarantee Kaniva-Leeor will join district league

THE chairman of the Horsham District Football Netball League says it is "irresponsible" to suggest Kaniva-Leeor United will waltz into the Horsham District league for the 2021 season.

Kaniva-Leeor United members, supporters and players voted to remain as a standalone club and join the Horsham District league at an extraordinary general meeting on Tuesday.

The club had been assessing its options - including a potential merger with Wimmera league club Nhill - as the South Australian border created concerns for its ability to play in the Kowree-Naracoorte-Tatiara league.

The club now hopes to join the Horsham District league for a 12-month period before assessing whether it would return to the KNTFL.

The club's decision was announced on its Facebook page on Wednesday morning.

Horsham District league chairman Fred Mellington however said a move to the Horsham District league was far from a certainty.

"To suggest that they are automatically going to join the Horsham District league is just false, and in fact it is blatantly irresponsible," he said

"There are processes in place that need to be undertaken before that can happen.

"If and when those processes are followed, the District league will then assess and act on requests as they come."

Mr Mellington said several factors needed to be taken into consideration before the league would welcome a 12th club.

It is likely the Horsham District league's existing 11 clubs will be asked for their opinions on whether Kaniva-Leeor United can join the league.

The last club to join the HDFNL was the Southern Mallee Giants in 2016.

Mr Mellington said it was a process that could take some time.

"We will look at any application and assess it on its merits," he said.

Fred Mellington.

Fred Mellington.

KNTFL president Peter McLellan meanwhile said it was sad to see one of the league's foundation clubs depart the league.

He hoped Kaniva-Leeor United could return to the KNTFL in 2022.

"We understand why the club had to make this tough decision, however, we are hopeful that it is only for one season, as we want to have them back for the 2022 season," he said.

"They are a great football club with a fantastic oval and one of the best facilities going around.

"Like every community club, they want to be able to play games - for Kaniva-Leeor United, being able to play their eight-odd home games a year is massive for them."