GVL and Murray League called off

By Brayden May

BOTH the Goulburn Valley and Murray  Leagues have elected to cancel their 2020 senior football and netball seasons.

The decision was made in consultation with the Ovens and Murray League who have also elected to call off their season.

“This is not a decision we have made lightly," GVL chairman David Roff said.

"We recognise the potential health implications within our communities, the financial burden of a shortened season to both our clubs and the league, the additional requirements of volunteers, the number of people allowed within a hospitality setting, inability to manage crowds amid social distancing rules and not wanting to play without crowds.

"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.”

Murray League general manager, Dale Norman added: “Time was against us in the end. To play a compromised competition and with no clear direction for crowds the only viable decision to ensure the long-term sustainability of the clubs was to cancel the season.

"Revenue streams for Clubs have been impacted due to the inability to generate sponsorship and membership sales.

"Clubs also expressed concerns about the additional burden on volunteers to comply with COVID-19 protocols and procedures, community health and the impact on older volunteers, the inability to manage crowds and implement social distancing requirements and the ongoing confusion over cross border protocols.”

Despite the cancellation of senior competitions both remain committed to getting junior teams out on the field from next month.

"We remain committed to running a modified junior competition for our Under 16’s and Under 18’s football and 15 & under and 17 & under netball," Mr Roff said.

"Our aim is to start a junior competition on July 18. How a GVL Junior’s competition will look is yet to be determined and will be dependent first and foremost on State Government advice.

"We have formed a working group to help expedite this once Return to Play Protocols are released.”

Mr Norman said he would work with clubs to help work out any plans for junior sport.

"The Murray FNL will now focus on the possibility a junior competition for football and netball in the coming months should clubs wish to be involved," he said.

"This, of course, will be subject to both Victorian and New South Wales Government restrictions and Return to Play protocols."