Footy training resumes for some but not others
NOT all Bellarine Football League clubs have returned to the track this week, despite the easing of Victoria’s COVID-19 restrictions to allow small group training.
From Monday, two groups of 10 have been allowed to undertake non-contract training as long as they use separate halves of the ground.
However, out of the BFL 10 clubs, five have chosen not to resume, three have started, and two hadn’t indicated their plans to this newspaper by deadline.
Among the clubs choosing not to train are Geelong Amateur and Drysdale, who both took to social media to inform members of their decision.
“With all the uncertainty around the 2020 season, and no final decision being made from AFL Barwon due to COVID restrictions, GAFNC have decided to hold off ALL training till after June 9,” a statement on the Ammos’ Facebook page said.
Drysdale’s stance was similar.
“We would ask that people be patient while we fulfil all of our obligations to resume training, as there is significant burden to ensure safety, with several key requirements,” president David Walder wrote.
“But as a club and a community, we want to bring back some fun and fitness to our local football family.”
Reigning premier Barwon Heads, Ocean Grove and Queenscliff were the three clubs to confirm they would be training.
AFL Barwon has set itself the deadline of June 9 to make a call on whether senior BFL and GFL football will go ahead following a meeting of club presidents last week.
That decision could come earlier, depending on how long Victorian Government restrictions around community sport and public gatherings remain in place.
However, an agreement between AFL Victoria and Cricket Victoria, which will allow community football to be played beyond September has provided a glimmer of hope of football getting underway.
Under the deal, leagues have until the weekend of October 17-18 to conclude their season.
“We are pleased to have reached this outcome for cricket and football in Victoria, sports that mean so much to many people in communities across the state,” AFL Victoria head of community football Stephen O’Donohue said.
“We will continue to consult closely with the state government and relevant medical authorities, and if a further easing of restrictions is to occur, we now have the flexibility that provides local football leagues with an opportunity to hopefully get games away in the coming months.”
Tom King is the editor of krockfootball.com.au. Visit the site for more regional football coverage.