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Gippsland League off

Gippsland League off

No senior footy and netball in Gippsland's top league

Gippsland League officials and club presidents have decided to abandon the 2020 senior football and netball playing season.

In an official statement following a meeting this afternoon, Gippsland's major league said: "Whilst it was disappointing to abandon the 2020 senior season the sustainability of all clubs has always been the priority."

However the news is better for the juniors, with all Gippsland League clubs to compete in a junior competition from Saturday 18 July. That includes U16 and U18 in football, and U13, U15 and U17 in netball.

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The juniors will play a nine week home and away season for premiership points, followed by a four week finals series that will conclude with a Grand Final on the weekend of 10 October.

Representatives of AFL Gippsland were also involved in today's discussions, acknowledging "the direction and unity amongst the club presidents during the most unprecedented times. We congratulate them for their leadership."

The League said planning will now begin for the 2021 senior season, "a season that promises to be like no other," they said.

Today's decision by the Gippsland League follows news in recent days that the North Gippsland, Mid Gippsland and East Gippsland leagues will also cancel their 2020 senior seasons, while maintaining a junior program.

In a statement last night, the North Gippsland Football Netball League said: "Our decision was influenced by many factors such as the recent COVID-19 announcements by the Premier of Victoria Mr Daniel Andrews, ongoing social distancing requirements, the threat of a secondary COVID-19 wave, increased volunteer workloads, compliance expectations and with the simple reality around player and patron numbers attending our venues and under what circumstances they can attend has ongoing limitations which will impact the commercial viability of community clubs."

All leagues have been keen to proceed with some kind of junior competition, recognising the importance of continuing to develop young players in both sports - the senior players of the future.

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