Picola District league sets sights on junior competition

By Aydin Payne

Picola District Football Netball League is working towards getting a junior competition up and running for this year.

A proposed start date for junior football and netball competitions has been pencilled in for July 18.

The region's northern-based league is awaiting feedback from its member clubs on whether they wish to participate.

Clubs have until Wednesday to inform the league of their intentions to field sides.

Rennie has already signalled its intentions to feature teams in the modified season.

The developments come a week after the cancellation of all open-age competitions due to the coronavirus pandemic

The junior season will include an eight-round fixture, three weeks of finals and a grand final on September 26.

League operations manager Shane Railton confirmed the league and its clubs discussed a junior competition last week.

“It was raised at the last club delegates’ meeting and we are waiting for clubs to inform us of their intentions to play,” Railton said.

However, Monday's announcement of the NSW-Victoria border closure has thrown a spanner in the works of the league getting its junior competition up and running.

The border between the two states is set to be closed at midnight on Tuesday for the foreseeable future.

It is still unclear how long the NSW border will remain closed to Victoria.

NSW premier Gladys Berejiklian was unable to put a time frame on the closure when she spoke to media on Monday.

“I'm hoping for it (border closure) to be temporary,” she said.

“It really comes down to the health advice.

“I'm not going to put a time frame (on it), it depends on the health advice.”

With the coronavirus pandemic changing each day, Railton said the border closure could provide an opportunity for the league to be flexible with its fixture.

“It may present an opportunity for our NSW-based clubs and Victorian-based clubs to play against each other until the border reopens,” he said.

“We will look at all possibilities.”

If that is to be the case, Picola United signalled its intention on Monday that it would not participate in a junior competition.

Club president Brad Caldwell signalled the board's decision to not be involved on the club's Facebook page.

“The Picola United FNC committee believe a season long competition with a proposed starting date of July 25 presents too many risks to our club and its members,” he said.

“The health and safety of our people is the priority and with the present COVID-19 pandemic worsening in Victoria, we believe it is irresponsible to push forward with the proposed competition.”