EASTERN Football League chief executive Rob Sharpe has dismissed rumours a new club would join the league in 2013.
Northern Football League power Heidelberg has repeatedly been linked with a move to the EFL since its failed attempt to officially transfer several years ago.
The Tigers feature several former AFL players and were in dispute with the NFL earlier this season after the league stopped them signing sacked Richmond midfielder Daniel Connors after the transfer deadline. The NFL was formerly known as the Diamond Valley Football League.
In an interview with the Weekly, Sharpe said he couldn't see a way for Heidelberg to join the EFL.
"They have always indicated they would like to play here since they first asked in 2006 or so," he said. "They have maintained an interest to play here but there is not an opening at this time and the NFL wouldn't be likely to release them.
"We are not going to fight that battle again; it caused too much grief last time. So nothing will change unless there was an amicable parting of the ways between them and the NFL."
Sharpe also said no other clubs were in line to join the league in 2013 although he still received calls "quite often" from outside clubs inquiring about the EFL.
The EFL announced two weeks ago its four divisions would stay the same in 2013 with 12 teams in division 1, 10 in division 2, 12 in division 3 and 11 in division 4.
"Fundamentally we kept the same sizes because no new clubs were coming in," Sharpe said. "We did have a bit of thought about making division 2 bigger and making division 4 smaller.
"But that would leave division 4 with nine teams and the great fear is what happens if you lose a side. Someone could merge or go elsewhere, then you only have eight sides in division 4."
Sharpe also revealed the EFL was considering playing an opening-round game under lights at Bayswater Oval next year.
Sharpe said he believed the EFL's promotion and relegation program had made divisions 2 and 3 the most even they had ever been.
Division 4 still featured a few struggling sides this year such as Surrey Park. But Sharpe said Surrey Park had made great strides to improve off the field and had a good under-19 side, which showed some cause for confidence in its future.
"They have come along in leaps and bounds off the field and sometimes it just takes time for the on-field side of things to show it," he said. "But if you look at Glen Waverley Hawks, it wasn't long ago that they were getting belted and now look at them."