Giant hole in sporting calendar about to be filled

By Tyler Maher

 While many sporting clubs and competitions are weighing up whether a return to action in the coming weeks and months will be worth it, one district organisation is ready to charge back out there as fast as its hamstrings will allow it.

The Goulburn Valley Giants — Shepparton's AFL Masters outfit — will resume training tomorrow night and are hoping to begin playing matches by the end of the month.

This would be reliant on restrictions for outdoor gatherings being raised to at least 50 people.

“We're really excited to get back out there,” Giants president David Davis said.

“Obviously we play masters footy for completely different reasons than your usual competitions — there's no premiership on offer and we don't need to make any money to survive.

“It means that as soon as we can have enough people allowed for a game to take place, we'll be able to play.”

The Giants have worked closely with Greater Shepparton City Council to prepare for a return to training and eventually playing football, implementing all of the necessary guidelines.

“Our trainings will have to be capped if more than the allowed number of people come down, but we're just looking forward to getting out there and having a kick,” Davis said.

“We'll have a 10-minute briefing at the start of training surrounding all of the restrictions and guidelines and go from there.”

Sweetening the return to the field for the Giants is the completed refurbishment of Kialla Park Reserve's oval, surrounds and facilities — with everything except the line markings ready to go.

“It's really exciting to have what is now one of the premier facilities in the region here at our disposal,” Davis said.

“The ground is looking in great condition and when we are ready to play again it will be a real treat.

“None of us can kick 50 m any more any way, but I'm sure without the lines there to start with there will be plenty claiming they have.”

When matches do resume for the Giants it is expected initial games will be against other regional clubs like Echuca-Moama United and Benalla's Samaria Suns to reduce travel.

And with Kyabram District League recently calling off its season and other competitions in the region still in limbo, the Giants encourage anyone of masters age — over 35 — to come down and take part in footy for fun to keep mentally and physically fit.

● The Giants train Wednesdays from 6 pm at Kialla Park Reserve — see the club's Facebook page for details.