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Monday, September 28, 2020

Tony Mitchell, AFL Outer East

OUTER EAST: 2020 footy cancelled

The AFL Outer East Commission has ratified a decision to cancel Senior, Reserve and Veterans football for Season 2020.

A tightening of protocols made returning in 2020 unfeasible and unsustainable for Senior clubs, said Tony Mitchell, Chair of AFL Outer East.

“We have exhausted every possible avenue, including the implementation of alternative competition models,” Mr Mitchell said.

“AFL Outer East is immensely proud and grateful of its Senior Clubs through-out this period.

“They have been united, positive, and hugely resilient and the leadership of our Senior Committees, coaches and players during this period has been exemplary.

“The commitment to well-being, connectiveness and mental health of participants and the community has been outstanding.

“Our clubs have set great foundations to return stronger than ever in 2021.

“Our approach has been and will remain to continue to strive to provide our participants the opportunity to play football and netball, until it in no longer feasible.

“We remain committed to seeking alternatives, offering different solutions, and meeting this challenge head on.

“Our focus now shifts to our Junior and Female competitions, where we have a wonderful opportunity to showcase and shine a spotlight on these competitions.

“As per our Return to Play guidelines, each competition across the AFL Outer East will be assessed independently in regards to a return to play.

“After reviewing the current government, AFL Victoria and Netball Victoria protocols, we can confirm the current start dates for the following competitions remain in place:

• Junior Football, including Under 18’s- July 25 and 26
• Junior Netball – July 25
• Senior Netball – August 1
• Women’s Football – August 1

The clubs responses for team entries in these competitions for the 2020 season:
• Junior Football – All Clubs
• Open Netball – 16 Clubs
• Women’s Football – 9 Clubs
• Junior Netball – 13 Clubs
• U18 Football – 14 Clubs

“We will work with these clubs and our Umpiring groups to support and prepare them for the implementation and management of all required protocols in returning to competition,” Mr Mitchell said.

“The structure for the 2020 season for these competitions will be confirmed next week once team nominations are finalised.

“AFL Outer East will continue to monitor all advice from key stakeholders in the lead up to these start dates.

“We continue to urge all Outer East participants to practice good hygiene and adhere to all Government, AFL Victoria and Netball Victoria guidelines to help reduce the spread of COVID-19 in our community,” Mr Mitchell said.