The Black Diamond AFL, AFL NSW/ACT and AFL Hunter Coast have finally "approved in principle" a new governance model that will align senior and junior football in the Central Coast and Hunter.
While the competition structures for 2018 have also been revealed, with two Coast sides being promoted to the top division as part of ongoing equalisation efforts.
Up until this year the Black Diamond AFL ran senior football in the region, with AFL Hunter Coast running junior football.
However under the new model a single seven-person Board made up of AFL NSW/ACT representatives and members elected by both the senior and junior clubs will govern football in the region.
"The new model will see much needed increase in resourcing with a new Community Football Manager role overseeing implementation of competition strategy, junior/ senior alignment, club development, club education, league commercials, umpiring and football operations," The BDAFL said in a statement.
"In addition to the Community Football Manager position, both Operations roles will increase from part-time roles to full time roles, whilst a new part time media support person will also be engaged. The current AFL NSW/ ACT umpiring and development staff will also remain."
"It is also expected that this new model will provide clubs with much needed Affiliation Fee relief."
While next year's action will see two senior men's competitions, a women's competitions and a new social competition.
The Gosford Tigers and Wyong Lakes Magpies will join sides from Singleton, Maitland and Lake Macquarie in playing in the new 11-team Black Diamond Cup, after playing in the 2nd grade Black Diamond Plate up until this year.
The Plate competition is set to be scrapped, with the remaining two teams - including the Entrance Bateau Bay Blues - to play in the Reserves competition.
In all 41 teams will compete across the men's and women's competitions, with nominations still to be called for the social competition (over 30-35 years).