AFL Northern Territory (AFLNT) wishes to advise it has changed the outcome of the 2016/17 TIO NTFL Girls Under 18 game between the Palmerston Football Club and Waratah Football Club in Round 18.

Palmerston had two players in Round 18 who were ineligible to play in the U18 division, as they had not reached the minimum age requirements and as such Palmerston has been issued with a forfeit.

As stated under the AFLNT – NTFL By-law point 5.1 – Age and Gender qualifications:

5.1.1 NTFL amendments to AFLNT By-Laws in the following grades: 

(a) Each participating player in Under 18 Girls Grade must be:

i. turning 15, 16, 17 or 18 years of age in the year the competition commences;

ii. less than 18 years of age on 30 June in the year the competition commences; and

iii. female;

And the prescribed penalty under By-law point 5.5 reads; “A club which permits an unregistered, overage or ineligible player to participate in a match will be deemed to have forfeited that match”.

Manager of Football Operations Joel Bowden said since two of the girls in the team had only turned 14 in 2016, the year the competition commenced, these girls were not eligible to play in the Under 18 Girls competition.

“It is unfortunate that on the eve of the finals we have to enact a rule that will see Palmerston miss the finals.

“Both Palmerston and Waratah have been informed of the ruling, and as such a forfeit in Round 18 changes the final ladder positions and elevates Waratah into sixth spot ahead of Palmerston,” Bowden said.

At this stage, the change to U18 Girls finals will see Southern Districts play Waratah in an Elimination Final at 10:45am on Saturday 25 February at TIO Stadium.

Palmerston Football Club has until 5pm Friday 24 February to lodge an appeal with AFLNT.

There will be no further comment from AFLNT until such a time that an appeal is lodged or the deadline has passed.