By Colin MacGillivray
KILMORE Football Netball Club officials are keeping their fingers crossed that a historic night game between the club’s under-19 side and Diamond Creek can go ahead on Friday night.
The club is slated to host what Kilmore president Paul Maher believes will be the first game for premiership points ever played under lights at Kilmore.
But the match, to be at 7.30pm on Friday, will be contingent on a further easing of COVID-19 restrictions by the State Government.
Metropolitan football teams, including Diamond Creek, are currently unable to play competitive matches, but Acting Premier James Merlino is tipped to announce less stringent restrictions this week.
Maher said he hoped metropolitan teams would be allowed to travel up to 25 kilometres outside of their area.
“If that doesn’t happen, the game will have to be written off unfortunately. The league would have to scrap that game or look at restructuring, like they did with the seniors,” he said.
Maher said Kilmore would consider arranging other night matches if this week’s game was called off.
“We’ve got a couple of other matches pencilled in, but we need to get agreement from the other clubs and approval from the league and council to do it,” he said.
“There are no plans for the seniors to play night games at this stage, but it’s certainly something we’re open to.
“We’ll discuss that as a committee. I probably wouldn’t look at it this year, but in years to come it’s certainly something that we would entertain.”
Maher said the club was eager to host night games after an upgrade to the lighting at JJ Clancy Reserve last year.
He said scheduling under-19 matches on a Friday night would make things easier logistically because quite often the thirds played at different venues to the seniors.
“It is a home game for Kilmore and the following day the seniors play at Reservoir, so if it goes ahead it will enable us to have the thirds play on Friday night and they can then come to Reservoir on Saturday and watch the reserves and seniors play without having to rush,” he said.
Maher said people could follow the Kilmore Football Netball Club Facebook page for updates on whether the match would be played.
He said the club hoped a large crowd would be able to attend, depending on restrictions.
“The good thing about the Kilmore ground is that there is parking around the entire oval, and particularly on the eastern side of the ground you can fit several rows of cars, so people could quite safely sit and watch the game from the warmth of their own car,” he said.
“We’ve got our fingers crossed that it can go ahead. I heard rumours saying that dependent on COVID numbers metropolitan football might be able to recommence from Friday. That’s all dependent on what happens between now and then though.”
In other leagues, Broadford’s league Outer East AFL last week outlined a proposed return to competitions for all age groups starting on Friday.
“The intention of AFL Outer East is to resume all competitions as soon as restrictions allow. All clubs should prepare to play for the weekend starting Friday, June 18,” the statement said.
AFL Outer East plans to provide a detailed update of the structure of senior football and netball on Thursday.
Riddell District Football Netball League has announced its junior competitions will recommence on Sunday, but is yet to confirm when its senior football and netball will return.