Tenterfield Tigers are staring down the barrel of a possible return to the Group 19 competition next year.
The Group announced they would put forward the possibility of conducting a new second division tournament at their AGM on November 12. The format would follow the former Group 4 second division competition where clubs fielded a senior men’s and league tag team with no reserves or 18s.
Tenterfield along with Guyra, Ashford, Bingara, Bundarra and Uralla are the teams touted as taking the field in the new tournament.
Tenterfield last played in Group 19 in 2011 and 2012 and Tigers president Brendan Minns said he had mixed feelings about returning to Group 19 with the competition stronger than the current Border League but more travel involved.
“I think from a club perspective Group 19 makes a lot of sense for us because there is more teams, more games and also the ladies competition down there but then you have also got to have the players that want to do that travel,” he said.
“That's what we struggled with in those years, especially the first year but the second year we had a lot of old boys move away and leave and that left us with a very young team.
“In the Border League comp our closest game was half an hour and our furthest is an hour and a half.
“In saying that too, the year we just had was a four-team competition so the prospect of playing in Group 19 with the amount of sides we can play is very appealing.
“It is so hard being in the position we are in.”
The Tigers, being based in NSW, are a Group 19 club and have to apply to play in Border League each year.
“The reason being why we have played in the Border League for so many years was that we did not have the depth and player numbers to be able to play in that competition,” Minns said.
“We don't have the luxury of throwing that money at players and that's why second division is more appealing, due to the fact it is an amateur comp and there's no paid players.”
The Group 19 competition would also appeal to the ladies league tag with Uralla, Ashford and Guyra all previously playing finals football.
“Last year we had players ready to go, we had a girls' side ready to go and play but in the Border League this year there was only two teams in the competition, Tenterfield and Wallangarra, and Stanthorpe pulled out so that left our girls without a competition to play in,” Minns said.
“From a Border League perspective that was very disappointing because our girls were strong enough in that competition.”