New boss elected to helm of WAAFL

THE WA Amateur Football League has a new president for the first time in two decades after Sam Birmingham unseated John Davies at last week’s annual general meeting.

Clubs rallied around Mr Birmingham’s promise of transparency, communication and collaboration as well as a commitment to improving the integrity of the competition.

Formerly president of the West Coast Amateur Football Club, Mr Birmingham will step down from that role to focus fully on his new position.

“The WAAFL is a strong competition with a terrific financial base and it continues to grow each year,” he said.

“What I’m excited about is developing a vision for the future. Transparency helps all club presidents understand the opportunities and challenges ahead and that will hopefully lead to increased communication and collaboration between clubs.”

Stamping out all player payments and harsher penalties for poor on-field behaviour remain a priority but Mr Birmingham said he would also seek to highlight the positive achievements of the various clubs.

“I hear so many good stories about what is going on at individual clubs, whether it’s turning the culture around or investments in community infrastructure or improving club integrity and I don’t think those things are emphasised enough,” he said.

In the short term, Mr Birmingham said he would busy himself with grasping the financial impact of the new Perth Stadium deal.

“Obviously the new stadium will affect the funding of the WA Football Commission and therefore amateurs too and so it is going to be really important to put together a financial plan for the next three to five years,” he said.

Mr Birmingham also praised the outgoing president for his outstanding service over 20 years.

“To put John Davies contribution into context, the Colts competition is for young men up to the age or 20,” he said.

“When John first became president the young men currently playing Colts were just being born. His commitment to the competition has been second to none.”

Mr Davies said he wished Mr Birmingham and the new board all the best but stressed that it was important for the new president to fulfil the commitments he had made to the competition.