LODDON Valley Football-Netball League clubs won't know their opponents for this Saturday should the senior competition re-start until after a meeting on Thursday night.
The LVFNL board has a meeting scheduled with its clubs as it plots its way forward out of what has now been three weekends without competition for the league.
Among the discussion points for the meeting will be the re-start point for the competition - either round 10 as was scheduled in the original fixture or round eight.
The state of play in the league's senior grades is seven rounds had been completed before the season was forced to be put on hold due to lockdown restrictions.
As such, neither rounds eight or nine have been played and the league has previously indicated that no points would be awarded in either round for the senior football and netball grades.
But rather than rounds eight and nine having been scrapped, the option of playing them will now be discussed at Thursday night's meeting.
The two clubs that are most heavily impacted by the re-start round still being a point of discussion are Bridgewater and Mitiamo, which may or may not be playing this weekend if the competition gets going again.
Should the league revert back to its round eight fixture then Mitiamo would have another week off with the bye and Bridgewater would have a big game on the road against Pyramid Hill.
However, should the competition re-boot with round 10, Bridgewater instead would have the bye and Mitiamo would play an away game against Bears Lagoon-Serpentine.
Bridgewater co-coach Jayden Donaldson said the uncertainty around the fixture was providing a challenge, but the mindset of he and his players was to prepare this week to be playing again on Saturday.
"From a coaching point of view we've prepared the best we can all the way through this period as if we're playing, which at times has been difficult with the uncertainty," Donaldson said on Wednesday.
From a coaching point of view we've prepared the best we can all the way through this period as if we're playing, which at times has been difficult with the uncertaintyJayden Donaldson - Bridgewater co-coach
"Every opportunity we've had to train we've taken, including the Friday when lockdown finished.
"From a playing perspective, we're just eager to get back into it, but certainly, the uncertainty around the fixture has made it a challenge to keep the boys upbeat and focused on a potential game."
The Loddon Valley league hasn't played senior games since May 22.
Restrictions didn't allow for senior sport to be played on the weekends of either May 29 or June 5, before the league opted to avoid returning last weekend given spectators weren't permitted to attend games.
However, in a major boost for competitions this weekend, a further easing of restrictions in regional Victoria from Friday now have the patron cap lifted to 1000 people for outdoor sport and 300 for indoor.
And the ban that has prevented Melbourne-based players from travelling to play for regional clubs will also be lifted, not that it had a major impact on Loddon Valley league clubs.
Earlier this week AFL Victoria said it had hoped to see all 90 of its community leagues back playing following the mid-season standstill.
"Everyone involved in the sport - from the 170,000-plus registered players in junior and senior football clubs across the state, the tens of thousands of volunteers, coaches, umpires and thousands of communities who come together around local sport - wants football back," AFL Victoria said.
"The health and safety of everyone involved remains a priority and AFL Victoria continues to work with the Victorian government and health authorities in aiming to bring all community football back this weekend while adhering to government guidelines.
"AFL Victoria will communicate more information about the weekend of football ahead as soon as we receive further guidance from the state government, which we are working on obtaining."
While disappointed to have been unable to continue the LVFNL season unhindered, the pause has had some silver lining for the undefeated Bridgewater - like it has for most clubs - with the chance for players to recover from injuries and niggles.
"We've been fortunate enough to get our list really healthy over the past couple of weeks," Donaldson said.
"We've now got only two or three who would be unable to play this weekend through injury, so it has been good in that regard because at one point it was probably looking like we'd have 10 or 11 guys unavailable.
"It has been good for the boys to get a freshen up and their bodies right, but if given the choice we would have much preferred to keep playing, even if we were undermanned."
While the senior competition has been on hold over the past three weeks, the LVFNL re-started its junior football and netball grades on May 29.
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