Sun sets on NPL season for Goulburn Valley outfit

By Aydin Payne

The sun has set on the NPL2 senior season for the Goulburn Valley Suns.

On Monday night, Football Victoria sent out an email to all associated clubs to signal its intention to conduct a series of changes to its competition structures.

The raft of changes has the governing body drop the hammer on all senior NPL seasons due to the rise in COVID-19 cases in Victoria.

“Football Victoria is today announcing a series of changes to its competition structures for the remainder of 2020,” Football Victoria said in a statement.

“The decisions made by FV have always been made with the intention of enabling football to be played by as many people as possible.

“However, despite the best efforts of our amazing clubs and their volunteers, FV staff and every one of the game’s stakeholders, it will be impossible to run complete competitions for every age group and level.

“We are incredibly disappointed that we have not been able to host a complete season for every participant who wishes to play football, however, the health and safety of community remains our number-one priority.”

The recent news comes after GV Suns president Michael Crisera said last week the club was "waiting" for an announcement from Football Victoria.

Crisera said it was good to finally know the situation of the NPL season.

“It's good to finally get some clarity from Football Victoria,” Crisera said.

“We were anticipating this decision at the weekend . . . it's unfortunate our seniors miss out on the NPL season.

“As a club, we have done everything we can to get games up and running, but you have got to look at the safety of everyone involved.”

However, it's not all bad news for the Suns.

Football Victoria did say in its announcement that under-20 and under-18 NPL seasons would commence and that modified competitions for senior NPL sides would be looked at for September through to November.

Crisera said the club would "focus on the youth at the club", while the senior players and coaches work out their next plan of attack.

“We will keep running the programs and developing their skills,” he said.

“We definitely want to get the under-18 and 20s up and running when it's permitted.

“And our coaches will meet and discuss what's next for the senior outfit.”

The action kicks off this weekend for the Suns, with the club's youngsters involved in the opening round of the Shepparton Junior Soccer Association.

“It's exciting to have our under-12s play this weekend,” Crisera said.

“We are grateful to the SJSA for the opportunity to play and it will be great for our youngsters to get out on the park.”