LBU coach says the right decision was made

By Brayden May

LOCKINGTON Bamawm United senior football coach Kahl Oliver believes the right decision was made to call off the 2020 Heathcote District League season.

At a meeting on Thursday night, the HDFNL board decided to end any uncertainty surrounding the season immediately calling for it to be abandoned.

While he admitted his disappointment LBU coach Kahl Oliver said he was glad to finally have a decision.

“I honestly thought this was always going to happen,” he said.

“From the beginning, I didn’t think it would be practical to play games without crowds and the board have agreed.

“It certainly means there is a lot less confusion going around.

“The health and safety of everyone at our clubs is far more important than playing a game of footy.”

Before the season was cancelled, many had labelled LBU as the clear premiership favourites after a big recruiting spree.

But Oliver didn’t see the abandoned season as a missed opportunity.

“I think we’ll all stay together and be back for a crack next year,” he said.

“At the moment, it’s all about taking care of each other.

“Hopefully we can all catch up at some social functions later in the year because that mateship is a big part of our playing group.”

Elmore president David Trewick said the decision was best for the safety of all his club's members.

“We were really pleased and proud of how the football season was tracking, with the committee working hard behind the scenes and players working harder on the court and well-manicured oval,” a statement on Facebook said.

“Player attendance to training was excellent along with a successful trial game with Bridgewater under trying conditions.

“The mixture of our talented youth and new faces, the Red and White army was certainly on the charge.”

In an email to their clubs sent last week, the HDFNL outlined the reasons for the decision.

“Considering the continued uncertainty around season 2020, this decision, as difficult and disappointing as it is, gives everyone clarity and somewhat relief of the unknown,” the email said.

“We as a league and our clubs can now focus on and look forward to a very exciting 2021 season.

● Based on the state government COVID-19 restriction roll-out the highly unlikely return to full scale training by June 15, which is the latest date requested by clubs to be able to train as a whole, prior to the latest possible season start date of July 4;

● The health and safety of all players, officials and volunteers around forecast Return to Play restrictions at training (scheduled to start May 25). And in particular, the increased responsibility on club representatives to administer COVID-19 protocols;

● The health, safety and financial impact on all individuals, should a COVID-19 case be detected at one of our clubs; Eg: isolation for a 14-day period, elderly populations particularly in rural areas at higher risk;

● Financial hardship and lack of income clubs will endure.

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