North Melbourne premiership player and former Murray Bushrangers general manager John Byrne is firming as the inaugural chairman of the nine-man commission that will take charge of the strategic direction of the game locally.
Byrne is the chairman of the working party put in place in December to deliver on the recommendations of the AFL review into country football.
The chairman and two other commissioners will be appointed by AFL Victoria with the remainder of the panel to be elected by local leagues and clubs most likely by Christmas.
The Victorian Country Football League could cease to exist in its present form as early as a board meeting on Saturday.
The region will also be boosted by three development positions in addition to Jeff Chandler.
The North East-Border region will have its own general manager with present area manager John O’Donohue favoured to take the role.
He is at present responsible for matters in the Goulburn Valley and Murray regions in addition to the North East.
Other members of the local working party that held its most recent meeting on Monday night are Darren Yates (Ovens and Murray), Rex Gray (Tallangatta), Peter Byrne (Ovens and King), Merv Wegener (Hume), Mark Sanson (Albury-Wodonga juniors), Gordon Nicholas (Upper Murray) and Jason Dudenas (umpiring).
O’Donohue said the initial commission appointees could be announced during September.
“It is all about putting more resources on the ground locally,” he said.
“Locals can be responsible for the growth of the game in their own region.
“We can’t grow the game out of Melbourne, we need to do it locally.”
The commission will be focused on the growth of the game through increased participation, club and game development, facility improvement and lifting umpiring participation.
Leagues will continue to operate under existing structures.
The AFL will bankroll the additional resources, initially based at football administration centres in Albury and Wangaratta.
But the creation of a larger football administration hub at Lavington Oval also remains a possibility.