North Gippsland hold out hope

Not done with just yet: There could still be action in the North Gippsland Football-Netball League in 2021. file photograph

THE North Gippsland Football-Netball League could still see some on field action this season.
While a return to play is looking highly unlikely, the ever-changing COVID landscape has meant the league has not been willing to put a red line through the season just yet.
In a statement released on Monday, NGFNL president David Kyle said the board was assessing its options.
“It is our board’s absolute desire to try and deliver a grand final to determine our 2021 premier,” he said.
“I have probably been bullish over recent months advocating that one way or the other we will deliver a premier in 2021, and to a degree that is absolutely true.
“The loss of last weekend’s finals games and the current lockdown for another week or two will present a series of hard-luck stories for many and I fear will also result in another series of hard-luck stories given the timeline for us to complete any finals games has now been severely impacted.
“What I can say here and now is that it would appear we may have only two weekends to get some finals action back in vogue, however bearing in mind what happened last Friday night and the appetite for governments to lock down the state within several hours and therefore any thinking in that space could quickly diminish to one or none so we must remain fluid and nimble with our decisions.”
Exactly what the finals series looks like remains to be seen, although given the two-weekend
window most pundits believe simply having the top four teams playing across two weeks would be the most logical course of action.
In that scenario, first would play fourth and second take on third with the winners to make their way to the grand final – the same system that is used in local cricket.
If that ends up happening, Woodside would play Yarram and Yallourn Yallourn North would be up against Churchill in senior football. A Grade netball would see Woodside versus Churchill and Glengarry versus Rosedale.
In the statement the NGFNL also acknowledged the awarding of a premiership without playing any finals would carry with it ‘doesn’t count’ type connotations.
“I think it is also fair to say that our board desires, and I think most people would prefer to achieve our 2021 premier through some level of competition rather than to contemplate handing out a premiership flag without any competition,” Kyle wrote.
“Should the latter become our strategy, then any premiership awarded in such fashion will always be tainted in some way about how it was achieved and thus why our lack of enthusiasm for this concept is at the forefront of our minds.”
Additionally, the league has also resolved to move its league vote count to a date when a “reasonable crowd” is allowed to congregate indoors.
The league has ordered trophies and medals and said it believes it is worthy of holding a night to present awards.
THE Mid Gippsland Football-Netball League is meeting with clubs this Monday to discuss the best course of action for the remainder of the season.