ANY glimmer of hope for a return to the field and court for AFL Central Victorian leagues are fading fast.
Although regional Victoria - with the exception of Shepparton - will come out of lockdown from 11.59pm Thursday, the easing of restrictions only allow for community sport training to resume without competition.
What would appear to sound the death knell on AFLCV leagues that were still holding out hope of an on-field resolution to their seasons by playing even just a 1 v 2 grand final is Victorian premier Daniel Andrews indicating on Wednesday the new set of regional Victorian restrictions that include training only will be in place until the end of September.
Under the regional Victorian easing of restrictions from Thursday night, community sport is: "Permitted outdoor training only with the minimum number required to train. Spectators are prohibited except one parent permitted to supervise children."
While training can resume from Friday once AFL Victoria and Netball Victoria protocols are released for AFLCV leagues that include Bendigo, Heathcote District, Loddon Valley, North Central, Central Victoria Women and Bendigo juniors, it's now highly unlikely competition will be permitted to resume within the season-ending timeframe deadlines each league has set.
"This is not everything that everyone would want right now, but this is what is sustainable. This is what is safe, this is what the Chief Health Officer has recommended to us and it is the decisions that we have made. These arrangements will be in place until the end of September," Andrews said in relation to the eased regional Victorian restrictions, which include training only for community sport.
These arrangements will be in place until the end of September- Daniel Andrews
All AFLCV region leagues have released their finals scenarios roadmaps pre-empting when community sporting could return from this latest lockdown that begun on Saturday, August 21.
None of the scenario planning has any of the leagues extending their seasons into October.
Like it was last year when it was the first to call off its season, the HDFNL is likely to be the first of the region's dominoes to fall given unless it had clarity by midday Thursday that it could proceed with a grand final day on September 18 with a crowd permitted and a week of training for its players it would call off the season.
The BFNL has been prepared to push through until the weekend of September 24-26 to get an on-field completion to its season.
"Unfortunately, what we know is we won't be playing this weekend. Right now as to what today's announcement means beyond that, I'm not too sure going off the verbal statement (from Andrews) that these next restrictions will last until the end of September. We probably won't go too early on any decisions until we can confirm what that date is," BFNL manager Cameron Tomlins said.
LVFNL executive officer Laura Naughton said the league's next move was to convene a board meeting to further discuss the situation.
"We'll meet as a board, discuss what has been announced and then notify our clubs," Naughton said.
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