Seymour president concedes GVL call inevitable as juniors hold out hope

By Meg Saultry

Seymour Lions president Gerard O’Sullivan said the decision to cancel Goulburn Valley League’s senior competitions last week was inevitable, after reinforced Victorian Government restrictions proved the “final nail in the coffin”.

Before last week's meeting, the majority of the GVL's 12 clubs were in favour of moving forward with a season.

But in a massive blow for community sport, the Victorian Government’s June 20 announcement saw the walking back of COVID-19 restrictions following a spike in infections.

Inside and outside gatherings were again restricted, which settled any doubt surrounding crowds at games.

“It seemed inevitable,” O’Sullivan said.

“There was going to be no crowds for the footy, which limits our capacity to put players on the ground.

“We were resigned to the outcome prior to going into the meeting.”

GVL chairman David Roff said the decision to cancel the season was not made lightly.

“We waited as long as we possibly could but ultimately had to make the call in order to provide clarity to everyone at all of our clubs,” Roff said.

O’Sullivan said the competition was at its “breaking point” last week, so it was little surprise to players and club supporters when the decision was announced.

“I believe everyone could see it coming, so it was received pretty well from our coaches and players,” he said.

While seniors won’t play this year, the league has reaffirmed its commitment to finding a way to host its junior competition, which Seymour fully endorsed.

The league has circled July 18 as a possible start date.

“There is a strong push to try and find a way for juniors to play,” O’Sullivan said.

“Our juniors are still training and the league has put together a sub-committee with board members and presidents to make those decisions of when to return to play and the costs to get it up and going.

“It’s tough work to get a competition going, but we’ll do our best to participate.”

As for the immediate future of its senior teams, O’Sullivan said the club would take a break for “a couple of weeks” before regrouping to plan its 2021 season, which would include locking in its coaching roster.

“We’ll strongly encourage our coaches to continue, but we’ll need to make sure they’re willing,” he said.

“We’ll have a chat with them when the time is right.”