Murray league junior football scrapped

By Alex Mitchell

No Murray Football Netball League competitions will be played this season after the organisation's junior football was cancelled on Monday night.

The Murray league cancelled its senior divisions late last month and its junior netball grades were scrapped last week, with junior football's cancellation meaning the competition will miss the entire year.

With five of the league's 14 clubs based in New South Wales, the closure of the Victorian-NSW border was the final nail in the coffin of the season, league general manager Dale Norman said after a meeting of the league's executive and club presidents on Monday night.

“Bitterly disappointing that we have to cancel the season,” Norman said.

“The executive and clubs had held out hope that we might be able to form a competition.

“We looked at a range of options, but after further government restrictions were imposed on the NSW-Victorian border it was agreed that it would not be viable to continue.”

The Murray league is the second of the district leagues to entirely cancel its season behind Kyabram District League, which scrapped all its grades in May, while the Goulburn Valley and Picola District leagues still intend to run junior seasons despite teams announcing their withdrawal in both competitions.

In its statement confirming the junior football cancellation, the Murray league said health and safety had been its number-one priority throughout its process to try and run a season.

“The Murray FNL executive acknowledge the club presidents for their trust and input,” the statement read.

“The collaborative approach and understanding have ensured the Murray FNL remains strong and united in this unprecedented time.

“The Murray FNL’s number-one priority has always been the safety and wellbeing of our communities.

“Our clubs rely on these communities for supporters, players, umpires, officials and volunteers.”