This weekend was gearing up to see the return of football and netball to the region but the Picola and District Football Netball League (PDFNL) announced last Monday they had cancelled all open age competitions for the 2020 season.
At a club delegates meeting on Monday, June 29, the decision was made to call off the senior football and netball competitions due to impacts caused by the coronavirus pandemic. Since the announcements, the Premiers of both New South Wales and Victoria have announced the closure of the Victorian/ New South Wales borders.
The PDFNL released a statement following the meeting which highlighted that it would not be feasible for open age grades to compete this year.
The statement revealed most clubs did not have confidence in restrictions being implemented to allow for play to resume.
The decision comes after Yarroweyah announced they had withdrawn from the season.
“We have always been pro-active and positive in progressing with the 2020 season,” the statement read.
“After extensive research and thorough consultation with all clubs, partners, stakeholders and many government departments the PDFNL is disappointed that the open age competitions have become infeasible.”
The league is still committed to getting competitions up and running for its junior footballers and netballers.
The league will look to work with the appropriate bodies to facilitate junior competitions and thanked its partners for working through the difficulties of COVID-19.
“The league is committed to exploring competitive opportunities for our junior competitions and will work with our clubs, commercial partners, AFL Vic, Netball Vic and councils to establish the best options to facilitate these competitions,” the statement read.
“We would like to take this opportunity to thank the various bodies who have been extremely supportive and co-operative despite often working with severely reduced staff, altered working arrangements, increased workload, along with many varied levels of community anxiety.
“(The) board wishes to acknowledge and thank our commercial partners, PDFNL clubs, as well as their commercial partners, for their support in attempts to achieving 2020 open age competitions.”
Last Monday’s decision means there will be no senior football and netball seasons played across the region this winter.
Both the Ovens and Murray Football Netball League and Murray Football Netball League cancelled their seasons on June 25 with the hope of junior seasons still going ahead.