By LIAM DURKIN
THE last domino in Gippsland football and netball fell last week, with the Gippsland League officially calling time on the 2021 season.
The league and member clubs had set Thursday, September 16 as D-Day for the state government to make an announcement regarding a feasible return-to-play to allow a finals series.
With no announcement forthcoming, the Gippsland League made the move to abandon its 2021 season for senior and junior grades.
The league surveyed member clubs prior to a meeting on Thursday, September 9 and from the eight clubs to complete the survey the majority, as has been indicated throughout the 2021 season, wanted to keep the senior and junior competitions aligned in the decision making.
Under the leagues recommendation, if the finals series was to be abandoned, the team at the top of the ladder would be classed as minor premiers for the 2021 season.
As teams were being classed as minor premiers for 2021 there would be no medals, cups or premiership flags awarded.
The league gave clubs the opportunity to give feedback on this recommendation and seven clubs were in favour of awarding minor premierships (one club requested to award full premierships with medals, cups and flags) and three clubs requested that the seasons be classed as abandoned.
Leongatha won the minor premiership in senior football, while Moe did likewise in A Grade netball.
THE Mid Gippsland Football-Netball League also called off the remainder of its season in senior grades.
The MGFNL made the recommendation at a meeting with clubs on Monday night (September 13). The recommendation was carried by a majority vote of clubs.
However, clubs also agreed to pursue all
reasonable options to allow junior football and netball to return in some capacity provided a finals series can be completed by October 2.
The MGFNL works on a delegates system, meaning member clubs vote on matters, as opposed to a board structure where elected officials make decisions.
Hill End finished the season on top of the ladder in senior football. Yinnar did not drop a game in A Grade netball.
All MGFNL minor premiers teams will be acknowledged, but no cups awarded.
The MGFNL last night cancelled plans to stage any junior football due to the state roadmap
indicating they would not be able to return to play until the end of October.
THE Central Gippsland Junior Football League made the decision to playing a grand final in order to complete the 2021 season before the state’s roadmap was announced.
The league had previously hoped to play a round of semi-finals last Friday, followed by a grand final two days later, but made the adjustment after it became clear a return to play for the weekend on September 18 was highly unlikely.
In the wash-up, it means that the season is over for Moe and Morwell (Youth Girls) Yinnar and Mirboo North (Under-15s), Moe and Hill End (Under-13s) and Newborough and Hill End (Under-11s).
If restrictions are eased, the absolute last chance to play a grand final will be the weekend starting October 2.
While a verdict was not known at time of press, it appears the CGJFL season is now gone for all money.
If the league decides to push ahead, the grand final match-ups would be: Newborough versus Churchill (Youth Girls), Moe/Newborough versus Hill End (Under-15s), Mirboo North versus Newborough (Under-13s) and Mirboo North versus Trafalgar (Under-11s).
“It gives our remaining participants some clarity and although it won’t please everyone we are very keen to try and salvage something of the year if we can,” the league said in a statement.
THE Traralgon and District Junior Football League has already cancelled its season.
The TDJFL made the call on September 12 citing the “ongoing COVID-19 situation and the current restrictions which are in place until September 23”.
“The league, in consultation with the member clubs, has made the extremely difficult decision to abandon the remainder of the 2021 season,” it said in a statement.
“Whilst this is extremely disappointing, the league would like to extend a big thank you to all the club presidents and committee for helping steer the TDJFL through a tough 2021 season.”