Violet Town has been left shattered by Kyabram District League’s decision to cancel this year’s football and netball season.
In a zoom meeting last Wednesday night, KDL club presidents voted to carry a motion not to go ahead with the 2020 season, and instead shift its focus to 2021.
It is understood of the 15 clubs within the league one club remained neutral and one club dissented, Violet Town voting not to cancel the season.
When speaking to The Ensign last week, senior coach Joel Price was still in a state of shock no football would be played this year and confirmed the club voted against the decision.
Price said he believed the league may have "jumped the gun" on making a call.
“As a club, we’re disappointed in the decision, but we understand it,” Price said.
“I would have liked to hold off a decision for a couple of weeks.
“In the long run, it is probably the right decision, I think they just jumped the gun a bit.
“I think it was assumed restrictions won’t ease in time.
“It is my feeling more leagues will follow suit.
“It is still a guessing game, but other leagues are giving themselves more opportunity to play some footy.
“We wanted to have a season if it was viable.
“A few other clubs weren't too keen at this stage.
“We can understand there would be lots of challenges to get a season up and running.
“But potentially if restrictions were to ease, some season could happen. We're a little flat.”
Club president Matt Holmes, who was present in the meeting, said he was also left discouraged by the outcome.
“It’s very disappointing. A lot of work goes into a season,” Holmes said.
“As a committee, we decided we wanted to play and try and get it going.
“We attempted to do that but the decision was taken out of our hands.”
Price said his biggest concern as a result of a cancelled KDL competition this season was other players switching to rival leagues if they were to go ahead instead.
“With our young guys, I’m certainly not going to hold them back from going and playing at another league. But it could have long term ramifications on our clubs in the league,” he said.
League president Fraser Kerrins said the league’s executive and administration had worked tirelessly with its member clubs to exhaust all avenues of hosting a season.
On SEN radio, Kerrins labelled pushing back a call on the league "delaying the inevitable".
“We... thought it was time we stood up and made a decision as a league, in the best interests of our leagues and our clubs,” Kerrins said.
“It is a tough call, it might be an early call given where some of the other leagues are, but we feel it is time for us to make that call.”
After signing on as Violet Town coach last off-season, Price is only contracted to the club for the 2020 season.
Holmes said the next order of business for Violet Town would be working to sign Price for another year, while also strengthening its netball ranks.
“Our player feedback is they would like Joel to go again,” Holmes said.
“We’ll work that through with Joel.”
League operations manager Nathaniel Dedman said the league would work to ensure all clubs could ride out the year ahead of a 2021 restart.
“As a league, we went into this crisis with 15 clubs, and we intend to have 15 clubs joining us when the first ball is bounced in 2021,” Dedman said.
The KDL became the third league in Victoria to cancel its season behind the Heathcote District and Milewa leagues, with the South West District League following the KDL a day later by also opting against playing.