Nigro not shocked by footy season’s cancellation

June 18, 2020 BY

Anglesea - seen here in action against Torquay in 2019 - is yet to decide whether it will play in a possible BFL pool competition this year. Photo: MICHAEL CHAMBERS

AFL Barwon’s decision to cancel the 2020 home-and-away season as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic came as “no shock” to Anglesea’s players, according to coach Paul Nigro.
The local governing body made the call on June 9 to not proceed with a truncated competition in the Bellarine, Geelong, Geelong and District and Colac and District leagues.
Survey results released by AFL Barwon found 79 per cent of the 44 clubs in the region wanted the season abandoned or would support the decision made by the Commission.
“Our players were satisfied the decision had been put out there,” Nigro said.
“At the stage it had got to, to come back in the middle of July to play a shortened season would have been very difficult, I would have thought.”
Nigro said the Roos were still to decide whether they will be part of a potential concept released by AFL Barwon last week.
Under the proposal, Victorian Government restrictions need to be eased enough by August 1 to allow 500 spectators at local venues.
The competition, which has a target start date of August 15, is likely to be played in a pool format.
Players won’t be paid, there will be a cap on the number of players in each squad, and the last possession rule would be introduced.
“We’re digesting that, and we’ll get together as a group and see how that looks, and get a feel for what other clubs are going to do as well,” Nigro said.
“Going back to the original decision (to cancel the season), I think it was fairly unanimous that most clubs decided to opt-out of playing for the year.
“How that modified version looks going forward – I think it’s well-structured, but whether it’s viable and too late, I’m not too sure.
“Grounds would be an issue, but, moving forward, it would be a great little concept to run in pre-season.”
As well as clarity around the modified competition, Nigro said clubs were keen for a clearer picture around contracts, salary cap, player points and fixturing as soon as possible to help clubs prepare for 2021.
Nigro, who has been re-appointed for next year, says last year’s semi-finalists are keen to start assembling their list.
“We want to get to our playing group sooner rather than later to give them reassurance of how 2021 is going to look.
“Most clubs, including ourselves, you’d be expecting to retain 90-95 per cent of your list, I would have thought.”
Tom King is the editor of Head to the site for more regional football coverage.

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