Seasons remain in limbo

By Cobram Courier

Clubs across the Cobram-Barooga region and its surrounds have given updates to their members about plans for training.

Although restrictions continue to ease, many clubs are holding off returning to the courts and ovals as they await decisions on whether their seasons will go ahead or not.

Murray Football Netball League officials remain hopeful of a campaign this year.

League general manager Dale Norman said a recent meeting between clubs had a road map to return put in place, but it was dependent on crowds.

“We remain hopeful of football and netball being played this year, but it hangs on the ability of clubs to generate revenue,” he said.

“Crowds, functions, canteens and bars are essential for these clubs, so all clubs agree that without crowds it simply can't go ahead.

“We will meet again on June 8 to discuss fixture alternatives and what new regulations are in place, but it remains our intention to have a season in 2020.”

Barooga Football Netball Club president Marcus Fry posted last week on Facebook that the Hawks would continue to suspend all team training.

“The Barooga FNC have made the decision to continue to suspend all club sanctioned training of all grades of football and netball until further notice,” he said.

“Even with the government restrictions allowing for a possible return to training, we still feel that the health and safety of our players, members and community remains our number one priority and that the risks of allowing training to resume at this point are still far too great.

“At this stage no final decisions have been made regarding the future of the MFNL 2020 season. As soon as further information becomes available we will endeavour to keep you updated.”

Cobram also posted a similar statement, with the Tigers and Hawks on the same page as most of the Murray league teams.

Picola District Football Netball League sides have started to filter back onto the field for training though, with various clubs returning to action.

“After the recent easing of restrictions by relative authorities and the strict protocols released by the AFL and Netball Victoria the club has decided to allow the gradual return of some training over the coming weeks,” Strathmerton Football Netball Club president Craig Caughey said.

“As yet there has been no decision on the 2020 season and the decision to participate in training will be completely up to the individual.

“The strict guidelines and protocols to resume training will be followed to the letter and we appreciate your cooperation in following these guidelines.

“More information regarding training times for each team and protocols will be provided going forward.”

At this stage Tocumwal footballers and netballers are not training.

“At an executive meeting . . . it was decided that in the best interest of our club and community we will continue to postpone all sanctioned training of all grades of football and netball,” Bloods president Dennis Sutton said.

“We understand that some restrictions have being lifted and we will continue to monitor these.

“The health of our players and members and community is of the utmost priority and the risks are too great to allow training to occur at this time.”