Controversial U14s Football decisions leave parents upset and confused

By Jason Smith

Never let it be said that Geraldton doesn't take its sport seriously. 

Late last week we reported on the unfortunate fate of the Under 14's GNJFL team Brigades who were disqualified after it was discovered that over age players had been playing for their team. 

While the decision was unfortunate, the GNJFL stuck to the rules. Sadly for many of the players, they learned of their fate from peers at school, who reportedly weren't the most tactful at sharing the disappointing news. Parents of the players expressed disappointment a the team not first being informed directly. 

But the controversy did not end there.  

At hearing the news, parents of the team 'Railways White' that finished third beind Brigades were excited that their childrens' team would move up a position on the ladder and take Brigades' place. One parent flew from Queensland, another Port Hedland, and one informed us he returned from Shark Bay specifically for his son's revived season. 

But they were shocked to learn that a decision was made at a meeting involving Railways Junior FC President Danny Bowen and St Pats representatives resulted in a decision for St Pats to advance instead of Railways White. The decision was based on the fact that St Pats had defeated Railways White the game prior. 

One parent from the Railways White team has told us he believes that according to the guidelines, his son's team should have been the team to advance. He said he feels the team wasn't properly represented at the meeting and was seeking a second meeting to discuss the matter.

Everything Geraldton contacted GNJFL President Ricci Chatfield who said that she could not comment on the matter due to the by-laws she was governed by and no statement will be made.