Mallee Park reserves disqualified

The Mallee Park Football Club is out of contention in the Port Lincoln Football League reserves finals after it was found they had played an unqualified player.

Last week Mallee Park was informed the Port Lincoln Football League had reversed the result of the team’s first semi-final win against Wayback on September 2.

The club lodged a notice of investigation with the South Australian National Football League to reverse the disqualification.

However on Tuesday the league’s decision was upheld and the semi-final result will be reversed, meaning Wayback will play in this weekend’s preliminary final.

Prior to Tuesday’s announcement Mallee Park president Warren Clements said the club had communicated with the league before the match and got a response back saying the player was eligible.

However the league’s football operations manager Robyn Rowsell said the scenario provided to the league was not the case for the player in question.

“The player had played five B grade games but for two of those he also played A grade,” she said.

Under section 22 of the league’s by-laws, a player must have played in four or more reserves matches in the minor round for their current club to qualify for that club’s reserves finals matches.

The by-laws state if a player plays in two or more grades on the one day they will be deemed to have played in only the highest grade for that day.

Ms Rowsell said because of this the player had only played three reserves matches and so was not qualified to play finals.

The Wayback Football Club declined to comment but was happy to see its reserves team back in contention.

Ms Rowsell said it was the responsibility of clubs to ensure all players were qualified but the league would help wherever it could.

In a statement on its Facebook page Mallee Park said the committee had done all it could to cover all requirements and asked for supporters to get behind their under 17 and A grade teams who will play in finals this weekend.