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VFL clubs say they’re ‘hopeful’ of getting a season up
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VFL clubs say they’re ‘hopeful’ of getting a season up

It’s been a long waiting game for VFL clubs but, after meeting with the AFL, they say they’re doing everything they can to get on the ground this year.

Paul Amy, Leader

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May 23, 2020 3:00pm

It’s a waiting game for Coburg prospect Marcus Lentini and his teammates.

It’s a waiting game for Coburg prospect Marcus Lentini and his teammates.

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VFL clubs remain hopeful of getting a season underway, but say they’re looking for a “road map’’ to push things forward.

Representatives from eight clubs – Box Hill, Casey, Coburg, Frankston, Port Melbourne, Sandringham, Werribee, Williamstown – spoke to the AFL on Friday about the prospect of play in 2020.

They were encouraged by Cricket Victoria’s decision to allow AFL Victoria to fixture football finals in the first three weeks of October.

The clubs released a statement today saying the AFL and other sporting bodies continued to talk with the State Government and medical authorities to “explore the potential for a full return to train and a return to play plan for the VFL’’.

“VFL clubs continue to ensure alignment with the advice of the State Government, and in the event of a further easing of restrictions, remain hopeful of a return to play in 2020,’’ the statement said.

Williamstown’s Jaylon Thorpe.

Williamstown’s Jaylon Thorpe.

“There is a clear understanding at all levels — government, league and clubs — of the need to advise the players, staff and community of a ‘road map’ for a return to playing sport.

“While there is no set time frame for the State Government to deliver this information, there is a focus to provide this as soon as possible.’’

But the clubs said while the State Government regulations were a key component of the VFL or VFL W season starting, other issues needed to be resolved.

They included:

 

 

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■ FINANCING the competition in the absence of crowds.

■ HEALTH protocols to ensure the safety of players and club staff and volunteers.

■ INSURANCE for the players.

The clubs said they were addressing them with the AFL.

“Certainly, yesterday’s announcement from AFL Victoria and Cricket Victoria confirming the ability to extend a football season into October 2020, is a positive outcome for this purpose,’’ the statement said.

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“In the interim, each club is determining their own approach to when they decide to bring players back to training from the target date of June 1, given the individual positions in respect to ground availability, staffing and costs.’’

If the VFL season does kick off it will be without the teams from AFL clubs Collingwood, Carlton, Essendon, Geelong, North Melbourne, the Western Bulldogs and Richmond.

It’s understood some clubs have also sounded players about playing without payment, as is happening in the SANFL this year.

Coburg GM Sebastian Spagnuolo said whichever it went, the VFL clubs believed they had done everything they could to get a season going.