Werribee CEO Mark Penaluna has provided the following joint VFL clubs statement by way of an update in relation to the 2020 season.
Werribee and other VFL clubs were on Friday advised that the AFL, along with other sporting body representatives, continue to consult closely with the Victorian State Government and relevant medical authorities to explore the potential for a full Return to Train and a Return to Play plan for the VFL.
VFL Clubs continue to ensure alignment with the advice of the State Government, and in the event of a further easing of restrictions, remain hopeful of a return to play in 2020.
There is a clear understanding at all levels (Government, League and Clubs) of the need to advise the players, staff and community of a ‘roadmap’ for a return to playing sport.
Whilst there is no set timeframe for the State Government to deliver this information, there is a focus to provide this as soon as possible.
Whilst the State Government regulations are a key component of whether a VFL or VFLW season will or won’t commence in 2020, there are a number of other factors that need to be resolved before a season can get underway, namely:
• Financing the competition in lieu of crowd attendances
• Health protocols to ensure the safety of players
• Insurance arrangements for players
The eight VFL Clubs (Box Hill, Casey, Coburg, Frankston, Port Melbourne, Sandringham, Werribee, Williamstown) and the AFL are currently working closely together to work through each of these matters. Certainly, Friday’s announcement from AFL Victoria and Cricket Victoria confirming the ability to extend a football season into October 2020, is a positive outcome for this purpose.
In the interim, each club is determining their own approach to when they decide to bring players back to training (from the target date of 1 June), given the individual positions in respect to ground availability, staffing and costs.