Abandon senior football for 2020 and concentrate on getting junior players back out on the park.
Mitiamo LVFNL premiership coach Andy Grant has called on the administrators of football in central Victoria to put all their focus into junior footy for 2020.
With crowds and club functions highly unlikely for senior football clubs because of COVID-19 restrictions, Grant said it was time for the pin to be pulled on senior footy for 2020 and all attention put towards the juniors.
"I can't see how we're going to get senior footy up and running because we're so reliant on getting crowds through the gates,'' Grant said.
"Not having senior footy for the year is not great, but we'll get through it. Junior footy is the one we need to get back.
"The kids have missed out on cricket grand finals, they've missed out on school, they haven't been able to interact with their mates....it's been pretty ordinary for them.
"It's more important than anything to get the kids back into sport. The senior guys can do without their footy pay check for a season.
"Adults can cope better than kids with this. It's important for the mental wellbeing, as well as the physical wellbeing, of these kids to get them playing sport again."
Grant said the length and makeup of a junior football season in 2020 was not important
"It doesn't matter if it's not a proper season, just get the kids playing,'' Grant said.
"Even if it's just a month or six weeks of round robin footy where there's no finals...winning and losing doesn't matter. It's important we get the kids playing."
Earlier this month, AFLCV regional general manager Carol Cathcart said the return of junior football was a high priority.
"We're really keen to get something up for our juniors this year, but once again it will be around the guidelines that the government puts out," Cathcart said.
"We think though that the juniors are a little bit different (to senior competitions) in that they can be scheduled differently, if you need more time between games to have people come and go then that's possible, if you have to use more grounds then that could be possible, too.
"There's so many different ways that we can do things with our juniors in regards to their flexibility given junior clubs don't all play on the same venue at the same day."
Grant said the doubt surrounding the start of the LVFNL season and the protocols put in place by AFL Victoria around training sessions meant his club wouldn't be training.
"There's a lot of administration that goes with these training sessions,'' Grant said.
"We struggle to get volunteers to training to hand out water bottles let alone have someone who will fill out logs and tick all the boxes.
"Training just with footys in groups of 10 doesn't make much sense when in three weeks time the season is probably going to be called off.
"The motivation for training is not high because players can see that the season is probably not going to go ahead."
The LVFNL has a president's meeting next week where more light will be shed on the future of the 2020 season.
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