REDLAND Bombers have been given the tick of approval by the North East Australian Football League, which has announced the club will be part of the high-flying competition for the next five years.
The licence extension has locked the Bombers into the competition until the end of the 2021 season.
The club president, Mr Colin Tobiasen, was enthusiastic in his response to the news.
“It lets us know for sure and certain where we will be going as far as the next five years are concerned,” Mr Tobiasen said.
“The NEAFL is obviously happy with the 10-team configuration and the licence extension allows us to put out to the kids in the 15-16 years age groups the path to an elite level.”
Mr Tobiasen agreed it was a huge commitment but was confident the club would kick ahead in leaps and bounds.
He said the extension allowed Redland Bombers to continue to plan for and improve into the future.
A similar extension has been applied to the other nine clubs with the AFL State League.
International manager, Simon Laughton, declared the long-term commitment by participating clubs will enhance the growth of the game in the northern states.
The NEAFL was formed in 2011 to improve the standard of second-tier football across Queensland, New South Wales, the ACT and the Northern Territory.
Others who have won the extension are the four AFL-based clubs Brisbane Lions, Gold Coast Suns, Sydney Swans, GWS Giants, plus non-AFL clubs Aspley, Southport, Sydney University, Canberra Demons and Northern Territory Thunder.
Since its formation, 77 NEAFL players have been drafted into AFL lists.
These include Redland Bombers’ stars such as Josh Thomas, Josh Smith, Adam Oxley (Collingwood), Matt Uebergang (Fremantle), Paul Hunter (Adelaide Crows), Blake Grewar (Brisbane Lions), Sam Michael (Essendon) and Elliott Himmelberg (Adelaide Crows).
Representative football will also return this year when the NEAFL plays the Tasmanian State League in Hobart on June 10.