The Black Diamond AFL looks set to disappear with all-but every club across the region having signed a memorandum of understanding to join the AFL Hunter Central Coast League in 2019.
AFL NSW-ACT, who will oversee the new league, made the announcement on Wednesday with Nelson Bay Marlins seniors the only group not to appear on the “initial members” list.
The 2018 champions Newcastle City Blues, minor premiers Terrigal Avoca Panthers, Cardiff Hawks, Warners Bay Bulldogs, Lake Macquarie Dockers, Maitland Saints, Singleton Roosters, Muswellbrook Cats and Nelson Bay Marlins juniors were among the 19 clubs to re-align governing bodies along with the Newcastle and Central Coast Umpires Association.
This comes a little over one month after the grand final and follows a drawn out power struggle between Black Diamond AFL and AFL NSW-ACT.
“These clubs have jumped at the opportunity to be part of the first strategically aligned league in the region across juniors and seniors and we are very pleased to welcome them,” AFL NSW-ACT regional manager for Northern NSW Simon Smyth said.
Smyth, Hunter Sports Academy chief executive officer Brett O’Farrell and former Black Diamond AFL representative captain David Flynn were also confirmed on Wednesday as the three AFL appointed members of the inaugural board.
Sam Zikman will take up the role of AFL Hunter Central Coast community football manager, including competition operations.
It’s believed that Black Diamond AFL’s affiliation with AFL NSW-ACT finishes at the end of this month.