The Great Southern Football League have guaranteed they will be sending a side to compete at the remainder of the Landmark Country Football Championships despite coach Wayne Stubber quitting after only one game, citing a lack of commitment from players to take part.
Ongerup Football Association beat the GSFL in the opening division 2 game of the championships by 40 points in Gnowangerup earlier this month, making the task of reaching the grand final a difficult one.
The championships will resume next week with the remaining senior qualifying games to be played on Saturday, July 8, and despite concerns the GSFL would be pulling out of the carnival president Joe Burton confirmed their commitment to play in Perth.
“We have never been not going,” Burton said.
“We are certainly going and are going with a good side.
“In my opinion if you start a carnival you should finish it and at the end of this we will re-look at everything to see what the future holds because we do not support the format this year and need to assess what we do around carnival football.”
Michael Cramer, who was Stubber’s assistant in the opening game, will take the reins as head coach for the rest of the campaign.
Burton, however, did concede that the GSFL had spoken about withdrawing after Stubber’s resignation.
“It is a concern (Stubber standing down),” Burton said.
“After he resigned the thought was the league would pull out and the majority of the directors were of that opinion.
“But the players got around over the weekend and rallied to find some more players.”
Speaking about his reasons to quit as coach, Stubber said he spoke to GSFL directors Kathleen Mier and Peter Braimbridge and they had agreed that due to the lack of support the side should withdraw.
“The original decision was not for me to resign but for us not to send a side,” Stubber said.
“I had three or four emails from directors supporting that decision.
“But over the weekend a few things have changed and the guys have rallied to get more players to go away.
“We felt there wasn’t the support from players and a few clubs, it took a lot of organising and the financial burden as well was big.”
Stubber said that paying money to travelling players had even been discussed.
“We had to even start offering money and begging people to play,” he said.
“Even the thought of suspending players (who withdrew) I just thought I couldn’t be a part of that and that’s not what representative footy is about.
“I have passed on my best wishes to Fatty (Cramer) and I hope if anything this rekindles the desire of everyone to play carnival footy.”
Cramer confirmed already that Kleemann medallist Luke Cameron, star midfielder Ryan Gaerth, Royals recruit Peter Mark plus Denmark-Walpole trio Kadan King-Davies, Hendrix and Paris Ropiha were additions to the GSFL side for the rest of the championships.