Junior sport now the focus

By Robert Muir

With season 2020 over before it started for senior football and netball in the Ovens and Murray Football Netball League, junior sport will be the winner. 

“We need junior sport – we also need senior sport – but we will have junior sport which is important,” Corowa Football Netball Club President Graham Hosier told The Free Press.

He said the COVID-19 restrictions with the protocols put in place made it difficult for season 2020 to proceed.

“We are guided by the O and M. It was a difficult decision but we’ve got to back the O and M Board,” he said.

“Travelling players coming from Melbourne and crowd numbers in Victoria made it hard to get a start. Obviously the positive Victorian COVID-19 numbers going up and restrictions tightening again all added to the decision. As a club we back the decision.”

Mr Hosier said so much was attempted by clubs to have football and netball play some sort of 2020 season but to make a season worthwhile was becoming increasingly difficult. 

“We (the clubs’ presidents) had said we were unanimous we wanted football, with nine games and eight teams in the finals,” he said.

The Roos will be working towards having Under 16 and Under 18 football teams play in a competition this year.

The club’s senior netball coach Georgie Bruce said the decision handed down by the O and M League board wasn’t easy and would have been made with a heavy heart.

“I definitely feel for them having to be the people making that decision going forward but with all considerations including Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews cutting back I think the decision was very understandable,” she said.

Georgie acknowledged the love of football and netball during the winter by the community.

“But the health and safety of everyone in the community is so important. It’s sad the season couldn’t start but all clubs are on the same plane and it’s not all bad.” 

Silver lining – Georgie 

Georgie continued: “We’re not in this alone. There’s always a silver lining, giving us the wonderful opportunity to focus on junior sport.

“There will be more time to develop our juniors, to give more expertise and more time as a club to be bigger and better in 2021.

“We’ll have more time to spend with our families.”

Georgie was so much looking forward to season 2020.  “Potentially, we had another great year ahead of us,” said the coach who led the senior team to their first grand-final appearance in the 27-year history of O and M netball last year; both B and C Grades being grand-finalists with B Grade claiming the premiership.