by FARRAH PLUMMER
GIPPSLAND football leagues see an opportunity – not a problem – following a State Government decision to not offer an extra public holiday for Anzac Day 2015 despite it falling on a Saturday.
The Gippsland and North Gippsland football netball leagues offer Anzac Day clashes, but are considering either night games or moving games to Sunday to ensure they do not compete with commemorative ceremonies.
Gippsland League chair Terry Flynn said every so often Anzac Day fell on a Saturday, such as 2009, when the Anzac Day clash was moved to a Sunday.
When Anzac Day fell on Saturday in 2009, no extra day was observed.
However, in 2010, when Anzac Day fell on a Sunday, a public holiday was observed on the Monday.
Flynn said grounds also had very good lighting and the league might consider playing night fixtures.
“I see it as an opportunity to do something, rather than a problem,” he said.
“It’s a good time of year when the weather is nice. I don’t think it’s an issue.”
The NGFNL, which has held an Anzac Day clash in Rosedale for 10 seasons, is also set to benefit from the State Government decision.
NGFNL director, Gordon Bayley said the league would be looking into one or two other games on the Saturday as well.
Bayley said dependent on ground lighting, the league would have games played as twilight fixtures and work with clubs to move games scheduled on Saturday, traditional game day, to Sunday.
“The public holiday doesn’t concern us, it helps us,” Bayley said.
“With long weekends, clubs might not have access to players, but with a normal weekend all players will be available.”
He said there was also potential to get more people at the gate, with less people going away for a long weekend.
“We can get more people on the gate and we can have a really big game,” Bayley said.
“One of the stipulations is that we aren’t able to charge people to get into the gate until after 1pm with both footy and netball.
“We play senior footy and A and B grade netball early in the evening, starting around 7pm.
“It’s been successful over the last few years, and we’re looking forward to continuing the tradition.”