Please find below a statement from Lorin Joyce, President, Eastlake Football Club in response to the AFL’s announcement of the merger of the North East Australian Football League (NEAFL) and the Victorian Football League (VFL). Eastlake Football Club are the owners of the Canberra Demons who have competed in the NEAFL since 2016.
The AFL advised us in June this year that they were undertaking a review of the structure and competitions for 2nd tier football across Eastern Australia. They have kept us up to date throughout this review and we have appreciated their consultation.
The announcement that the VFL and NEAFL competitions would be merging is one that the Eastlake Football Club supports. Unfortunately, due to the economic impacts of Covid-19 we are unable to fund the Canberra Demons NEAFL team going forward and as a result will not be seeking participation in the competition in 2021.
This has been a very difficult decision for the Board of the Eastlake Football Club and one that has not been taken lightly. We will continue to work with the AFL to discuss the options that are available to ensure a talent pathway for AFL players in Canberra and the surrounding region going forward.
To the coaches, players, volunteers and supporters who have been involved in the Canberra Demons since their inception in 2016, the Board of the Eastlake Football Club would like to thank you. Your engagement and support of the Canberra Demons has allowed local players the opportunity to participate in the AFL’s talent pathway whilst remaining a part of their local Canberra community.
The Eastlake Football Club would like to make special mention of the key partners of the Canberra Demons, particularly Kane, Allinsure, Sentinel and MGI Joyce Dickson for the support they provide to the NEAFL in Canberra.
The Eastlake Football Club remains committed to promoting Australian Football in the ACT and surrounding region and looks forward to seeing success on the field through the local competition with the Eastlake Demons.