There will be no East Gippsland Football Netball League (EGFNL) season in 2020.
In a year that has thrown up multiple curveballs, the EGFNL has become the latest football victim of a growing list to cancel its season due to the restrictions around COVID-19.
All eight EGFNL clubs – Boisdale Briagolong, Lakes Entrance, Lindenow, Lucknow, Orbost Snowy Rovers, Paynesville, Stratford and Wy Yung – all agreed a season was not viable.
“The board of Football Netball East Gippsland wishes to announce the decision to cancel the East Gippsland Football Netball League senior football and senior netball home and away competitions for season 2020,” EGFNL president, Andrew Powell, said in a statement following a meeting with clubs on Wednesday night.
“This decision includes all football grades (seniors, reserves and under 17s), as well as all netball grades (“A” grade, “B” grade, “C” grade, “D” grade, 17 and under and 15 and under).”
In a recent survey the clubs voted unanimously not to proceed with the 2020 season.
The clubs based their decision on current information available from the Chief Medical Officer, the State Government and AFL Victoria/Netball Victoria.
“Concerns raised by the member clubs included uncertainty around a clear path back to return to play, uncertainty around how to generate revenue without the opening of bars and canteens, including social functions, the burden placed on volunteers, the inability to effectively manage crowds to comply with the State Government restrictions, health concerns with COVID-19 and varying financial implications,” Mr Powell said.
“The league will now work with the clubs with the 2021 season in mind. It is going to be a massive struggle for some clubs to attract sponsorship, given the hardship all local businesses and industries have entailed during 2020.
“As a board we are committed to ensuring we have all eight member clubs playing in 2021.”
A decision on junior football (EGJFA) will be made tonight (Thursday) after a meeting with the club presidents.