Roopena Coach Symon Chase has strongly criticised Whyalla Football League President Jack Velthuizen for blaming local coaches and players for the cancellation of the WFL vs SGL game this year.
Mr Chase, who has coached the combined WFL side for the past two years, said the league didn’t put in enough effort to find a combined coach before it was too late.
“The only one with a lack of interest in combined footy is the President,” he said.
On Thursday Mr Velthuizen said that a ‘genuine lack of interest from the players and coaches’ was why the WFL had canceled the combined game.
According to Mr Chase, earlier in the year West Coach Brad Smith and Under 14 Roopena Coach Jeff Ewings were approached by Mr Velthuizen and asked to coach the side but they were all unavailable.
Mr Chase was also approached, but at the time he was unsure about his availability.
“Then we were told there was going to be a meeting in February, but there was no meeting,” he said.
Three weeks before the start of the WFL season, a meeting between the league and committee members from the Northern Zone was held.
Mr Velthuizen approached Mr Chase about coaching the team at the meeting, but Mr Chase was unavailable due to family matters.
“In the meantime there has been no advertising looking for a combined coach. As far as I am aware none of the clubs have been emailed asking whether anyone was interested in the position,” Mr Chase said.
“You don’t just cancel combined because three people said ‘no’, you actually have to do a little bit of work. We have six teams in Whyalla and four coaches haven’t been asked.”
Mr Chase was also critical of Mr Velthuizen’s claim that Under 14’s had been used to help fill the combined side for last year’s match.
“We didn’t use Under 14’s last year, if we had to use Under 14’s we would have cancelled it,” he said.
“You can’t have kids going up against men. Jack wouldn’t know because he wasn’t here, he was overseas at the time.”
The future remains uncertain for the inter-city match, with the Whyalla Football League set to host its 100-year anniversary celebrations in 2019.