By Colin MacGillivray
SEYMOUR Football Netball Club officials and players will turn their attention to 2021 after Goulburn Valley League (GVL) cancelled all grades of its 2020 senior competition last week.
The league’s 12 clubs unanimously decided to abandon the season at a meeting with the league board last week, but the league still hopes to run modified competitions for under-18 and under-16 footballers and 17-and-under and 15-and-under netballers from July 18.
GVL chairman David Roff said league’s decision was a significant one.
“This is not a decision we have made lightly,” he 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.”
The decision means GVL will be in recess for only the fourth time in its 126-year history.
Seymour president Gerard O’Sullivan said the club’s players were disappointed but understanding of the decision.
“I think the coaches and players knew it was coming. We kept them pretty well informed as to where things were sitting,” he said.
“After the reinforcement of the restrictions on the Saturday of last weekend, it became pretty clear there was no way the season could go ahead for the senior part of our club.”
Mr O’Sullivan said the club was now waiting on return-to-play protocols and looking at the cost of running a modified junior competition.
He said the club would feel the financial impact of a cancelled season, but remained in a good position for next year.
“We haven’t approached any of our sponsors because we felt that it was not the right thing to do, to go to businesses when they were battling,” he said.
“We’ll engage with those people going into next year and see where they sit with their ability to contribute via sponsorships. We’ll take a whack from it, but we’re pretty stable at the moment so hopefully we can go into next season with a pretty stable platform.”