THE Latrobe Valley Soccer League has cancelled the rest of the season for all competitions at senior and junior level.
The LVSL board reached the decision at a meeting on Monday night.
In a statement the league said it was a difficult decision.
“This decision was not reached lightly and not without extensive consultation and input from our member clubs,” the statement read.
“We are mindful that our decisions not only impact this season, but have potential impacts for the 2022 season.
“As a league we find ourselves still blanketed by uncertainty regarding what the coming weeks and months hold around restriction updates and the ability to return to competitions in a manner that is sustainable for our players and clubs.
“The board would have loved to have been in a position that allowed us to deliver outcomes and direction with certainty for our clubs, unfortunately that is not the case now, or in the immediate future.”
In the wash-up, the following was decided:
-No senior/junior league championships will be awarded across all competitions;
-No cup or finals series will be able to be facilitated or awarded across all competitions;
-No individual awards will be given, and;
-Junior teams and players will be recognised for their contribution in an appropriate manner.
At the meeting, five of the competition’s 11 member clubs indicated they would not be able to continue the season, which were described as ‘valid and fair’ by the LVSL.
Considerations in the decision also evolved around the fact players at present had missed six weeks of training and the strain on volunteer and club engagement had been significantly impacted due to the latest extended lockdown.
“It has been extremely difficult to balance competition outcomes against our rules of competition to reach a fair conclusion, in particular for our league championship which is contingent upon the completion of a home and away season,” the statement read.
“The facilitation of a final series has also been impacted to a significant degree.”
Moe United ended the unfinished season four points clear on top of the senior men’s ladder after 14 games, while Fortuna 60 was the runaway leader of the women’s competition, 12 points ahead of its nearest rival.
Both competitions had an uneven number of games played by the respective teams.
LVSL president Allan Roberts, speaking on behalf of the board, said although the last 18 months had been incredibly difficult, clubs deserved credit for the way in which they had
“I hope that all our stakeholders understand that the 2021 season has been incredibly challenging to manage with the constant stop/start of our competitions, on the back of a cancelled 2020 season,” he said.
“I would like to personally thank all our clubs, players, volunteers, referees and spectators for your patience over very difficult times. You have all stuck by your clubs, done your best to support each other and our game through some very trying circumstances and restrictions, for that the LVSL board is very appreciative of your efforts.
“The challenge to keep our players engaged begins now, we all need to work to ensure that we can come back yet again in 2022, and as a board we will be working on opportunities as soon as we can and are able to.
“The LVSL has a proud and strong history, we are made up of resilient people who can meet challenges and deliver outcomes. We will apply these traits as we work toward the 2022 season with dedicated enthusiasm and renewed vigour.”
Moving forward, the LVSL is looking at potentially playing some sort of competition over spring and summer – COVID pending.