Football Gold Coast general manager Damien Bresic.
Football Gold Coast general manager Damien Bresic.

Football hopeful Murwillumbah will make return despite exit

FOOTBALL Gold Coast are hopeful Murwillumbah have not been seen at senior level for the last time despite withdrawing from this season's Coast League One.

Having exited the Gold Coast Premier League in 2019, the Warning earlier this month stepped away from the second-tier Coast League due to a player shortage.

With the season kicking off on March 7, their last-minute exit has resulted in a $2000 fine and exclusion from senior competitions for 2020-21, as per FGC's competition rules.

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While Murwillumbah president Greg Jones declined to comment, the Bulletin understands club officials are furious with the sanctions.

FGC general manager Damien Bresic said the board was sympathetic to Murwillumbah's plight, with the governing body treating the fine as "bond" and remaining open to a senior return next year.

"Where the board gave a little bit of compassion (to the club), it wasn't a fine as such, it was a bond. If they fulfil their obligations (with juniors) this year we will give them their money back," Bresic said.

"They've done everything right. They told us before Christmas they were struggling and we tried to assist them where we could.

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"They told us about a month ago they were still struggling and had organised a few practice games but had to cancel because they didn't have enough players. They withdrew (from Coast League) and as it states in our CMC (Competition Management Centre) rules, if a Premier League or Coast League side withdraws from either division they will be fined $2000 and will be banned from entering senior sides for two years.

"We're hoping Murwillumbah will get things together at the end of this year and then we'll give them their bond back. We did the same thing two years ago when they pulled out of Premier League - we let them play in the Coast League and they got their bond back."

Bresic said he hoped senior football would return at the Warning as soon as possible.

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"We're disappointed and concerned because Murwillumbah has gone from being one of the (Premier League) powerhouses 5-6 years ago to then voluntarily withdrawing from the Premier League and then this year they've pulled out of everything altogether," he said.

"We're hoping the fact they'll have no pressure with seniors will allow them to concentrate on the juniors and then they can come back bigger and better."