BLACK Diamond AFL clubs and board members voted overwhelmingly on Wednesday night to rebrand the competition the AFL Hunter Coast from next season.
Club presidents and board members voted 12-3 in favour of changing the name at the special general meeting.
President Scott Harrington was ecstatic that most clubs supported the board’s proposal which was first raised last season.
‘‘It gives us a geographical base and a geographical identity,’’ he said.
‘‘It is the last area in NSW to be branded as an AFL region, and there are some significant benefits.’’
The Black Diamond Cup is the oldest contested trophy in Australian sport. It was donated by the Richmond Tobacco Company in 1888.
The term ‘‘Black Diamond’’ referred to the game’s development in the Hunter, which began in the 1883 with Victorian coal mining brothers Jim, John and George Duguid.
In order to keep the history intact, the Black Diamond Cup will remain the premiership trophy in the six-team premier league.
The three votes against were cast by Central Coast clubs Terrigal-Avoca, Killarney Vale and Wyong Lakes, who believed that without the word ‘‘Central’’ in the name they were losing their identity.
‘‘We don’t believe that’s the case as the whole idea of Hunter Coast is that it recognises all the different regions we have in our geographical location like Port Stephens, Lake Macquarie, Central Coast and lower and upper Hunter,’’ Harrington said.
‘‘So we felt Hunter Coast best summed up our five regions.’’
In today’s round-eight matches, Killarney Vale will have a difficult task avoiding a hat-trick off losses when they travel to No.1 Sportsground to face competition leaders Newcastle City.
Cardiff and Terrigal-Avoca clash at Hylton Moore Oval and strugglers Lake Macquarie and Warners Bay meet at Tulkaba Park.