Shepparton pulls pin on GVL season

By Tyler Maher

If the Goulburn Valley League junior season is able to continue this year it will be without Shepparton among its ranks.

The Bears made the decision to pull out of the competition completely after round two action at the weekend was cancelled following a positive COVID-19 test at Mansfield Secondary College.

President Will Phillips updated his members about the club's decision via video on Facebook on Saturday night.

“We were fully supportive of the league for cancelling round two,” Phillips said.

“Unfortunately we didn't get to play (Shepparton) United today, which is a great shame as the rivalry between the two clubs is massive and it would have been great to get you out there having a kick and a run around on the netball court.

“In addition to not being able to play today, we've had a board meeting and as I hope you're aware the board has been working extremely hard to get the season under way and we were 100 per cent committed to playing GVL junior football and netball in 2020.

“It's presented (us) with a lot of different challenges and we've worked through all of those — we were certainly prepared to keep things going.

“Unfortunately we weren’t necessarily prepared for a COVID case being so close to the league ranks.

“We’ve made a decision that we’ll be withdrawing from the GVL competition.”

The Bears will cease all club training and turn their focus to next year.

Benalla and Seymour were already taking no part in the junior campaign across all four grades — under-18 and under-16 football and 15-and-under and 17-and-under netball — while Mansfield and Rochester are not fielding under-16 football teams.