Is it over?
Updated: Oct 20, 2021
WINTER sport competitions are on the cusp of falling over without a
final being played.
Loddon Valley clubs are providing feedback to the league board on what happens next in a dislocated and disrupted season.
But some clubs have told the Loddon Herald that players and volunteers are struggling to muster motivation to play finals in an unknown format and on unconfirmed dates.
Lockdown 7.0 has already robbed the league of at least two, and almost certainly three, weekends of football and netball finals. A decision is likely this week on the season’s fate.
Mitiamo club president Rob Clohesy, whose club has only played two games in almost three months and sits atop the senior football and A Grade netball ladders, says the season has at best one date left to play season deciders - September 18.
Clubs have been discussing scenarios for almost a week, including a two-week final series or just a quick-fire grand final for the top two sides.
League presidents discussed mid-season that if all clubs played each other once, that would constitute a season and premierships could be awarded without finals being played.
If there was a top two final, reigning premiers Mitiamo would meet Marong in the decider.
Bears Lagooon Serpentine, fifth after the home and away season, has already seen its chance of finals snatched away.
Clohesy said: ”The longer this goes on, the harder it becomes. It’s not the league’s fault.
“But with no team training, no match fitness, it’s just about done and dusted.”
Bridgewater finished third and Mean Machine president Gary Walter said the players were ready for the call to play.
He said the club wanted a two-week final series to maintain integrity in the season.
“That’s our preference but if the clubs go for a one versus two grand final only, we’ll support that,” he said. “We need a bit of closure ... if we don’t get that, it will make things difficult for next season.”
Pyramid Hill president Bruce Moon said “there’s no doubt it’s a battle” to maintain motivation and enthusiasm.
But he said the Bulldog kennel remained hopeful of playing finals.
“I guess there’s still a glimmer of hope ... the players are still training on their own and sharing their videos with each other,” he said.