Clubs react to the cancellation of football and netball

By Riverine Herald

WHILE the decision seemed inevitable following the changes to the Victorian Government's coronavirus restrictions, the news of football and netball being cancelled at senior level has still come as a shock.

Local clubs have received the news that they will not be playing this year, and are now turning their attention to the future.

Ash Byrne, Echuca FNC president

"This was a difficult but necessary decision that gives clarity to all the key stakeholders. Clearly the developments in Victoria over the past week have influenced this decision and it is made in the best interests of our local and broader communities.
"While many will be disappointed with this decision, the health and wellbeing of the community must be our priority in these strange times.
"We would like to thank all of our coaches, players, supporters and sponsors for their patience during this time of uncertainty and look forward to 2021.
"We look forward to providing further updates as they come to hand."

Ian Johnson, Echuca United president

On the senior decision

“It’s a relief that a decision has finally been made but it’s still a disappointment for everyone at the club, from the players to the volunteers.

“The entire process was fantastic because all of the club presidents and the competition board were so willing to work together.

“It’s great that we were on the same page to make a decision which will help both the short- and long-term futures of our football clubs.

“I thank everyone for what they did during this stressful period.”

On junior football and netball

“The club is pleased that there is still the possibility that our junior teams will be able to play some competitive games this year.

“But we will know more about that in the coming weeks as the Victorian Government announces more news surrounding restrictions.

“Our teams have started to train again in the past few weeks and we’ve had good numbers, which has been really exciting.

“I’m hopeful the season does go ahead because I’m frightened we could lose players for the future if there are no games — and that would be devastating.

“It’s very important that the club continues to engage our next generation.

“Being able to play sport is important for their mental health and wellbeing.”

Matt Lake, Moama FNC president

“It’s definitely a sad day for community sport — hopefully a decision that will never have to be made again.

“The league handled this extremely professionally, and in the end it was a decision that had to be made.

“With the changes in restrictions, we as a league had to make the choice. From a Moama FNC perspective we want to thank Dale Norman and the entire executive on the way they have handled this entire situation. We are glad that everyone has come out of it safe and sound.

“It’s sad that we won’t be able to play football or netball this year, but the decision has been made, and now we will all look forward to 2021.”

Tongala FNC

“Our club wishes to inform all our members and sponsors that our league, the Murray Football Netball League, have come to the tough but very sensible decision to cancel all senior football and netball for the 2020 season.

“Our club fully supports this decision, as the health of all of our members, sponsors and community is most important to us.

“At this stage the league are still working to see if a junior season is viable. We are hoping the final decision will made very soon.

“We would like to take this opportunity to sincerely thank all of our players, volunteers and supporters for their endless patience and positivity and caring nature through this difficult time for all of us.

“We as the Tongala Football Netball Club would like to say thank you to our wonderful sponsors, who continue to stick with us through thick and thin.

“We truly appreciate all of you and everything you do to support our club and our members.

“In these trying times it is imperative that we as members really rally together and get behind local sponsors, business and families in our small town and the broader community in general.

“We like to think of our sporting club as an integral hub of our community and the more we can do to support local families and businesses, the better.”