Sport

Football competitions officially cancelled

By Brayden May

WITH all community sport on hold, local football and netball competitions have officially cancelled their 2020 seasons.

Prior to the Victorian Government's decision on Sunday, Goulburn Valley League officials had already postponed round two of the competition.

But the tightening of restrictions delivered the knockout blow.

“The cancellation of round two games this weekend after several clubs advised the league late Friday afternoon that there may be possible positive cases that may potentially be linked to several GVL clubs, was the beginning of the end,” GVL chairman David Roff said.

“Subsequent to this, the state government provided advice on stage three restrictions

“We have been monitoring the situation closely. The board has tried everything we could to facilitate a competition for our juniors, with the assistance of our clubs, but this is now not possible.”

League operations manager Jo Spencer said the competition would now shift its focus to next year.

“Whilst the 2020 season has been different to any we have ever known, we will continue to support our clubs and begin our planning for 2021, with all 12 clubs ready to participate,” she said.

“We would like to take this opportunity to thank all our club volunteers, club executives and committees, players, community members, our valued sponsors and AFL Goulburn Murray for their patience and ongoing support as we have been navigating through these unprecedented times.”

Meanwhile Shepparton District Junior League president Mark Lambourn said he was proud and excited by the commitment and the leadership of member clubs, officials and parents.

“We can be disappointed, and we are, but more than that the season has not been for nothing,” he said.

“We can only be proud of the way in which club officials sought to embrace an unusual set of circumstances and tried to make it work. It has been a collaborative effort and shows just important junior sport is to our community."

Lambourn also thanked Peita Sleeth of AFLGM for her support throughout a tough process.

“Peita has been amazing and tireless in what she has done behind the scenes, creating fixtures, changing fixtures, assisting with rulings and doing whatever it takes to make it happen,’’ he said.

He added junior coaches, the appointed COVID-19 officers and team managers, along with the umpiring associations and parents did their best to make a season happen.

“We gave it every chance. We gave it our best for the kids to have some sport and recreation and unfortunately events beyond our control have brought the season to an end,” he explained.

“But I’m excited by the level of commitment and passion all our stakeholders have for providing a competition for kids of all ages to participate in football at any level. With that attitude we’ll be back stronger than ever in 2021."

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