Football NSW, in conjunction with the NSW government has announced that community sport in the state should be recommencing on July 1.
The date has been confirmed by both Football NSW and the government. However, despite how well Australia has been coping with the COVID-19 pandemic, there is still a risk of a second wave and we all still need to be cautious.
In an email sent on Tuesday, Football NSW CEO Stuart Hodge reassured the public that normality is edging ever closer and that restrictions for community clubs are being eased.
“Together with your Associations and Clubs, we have all worked hard planning formats and preparing match fixtures for a revised 2020 winter football season. With this in mind, on 25 May 2020, Football NSW submitted to the NSW Government a request for an exemption to the Public Health Order to allow all football to recommence playing matches in early July.
Whilst today’s announcement provides a welcome green light for the restart of junior and youth football, the return date for senior football remains unset. I want to reassure you that we are doing everything on your behalf to get clarity as to what that date will be. I know that many teams have commenced training and, like you, I am keen to get everyone back playing as soon as possible”, Hodge stated.
Hodge and Football NSW made four key statements regarding the return to football. These are as follows:
• That the return to sport would be subject to specific Guidelines – Understandably, there are still risks and although a second wave is appearing unlikely, the NSW government will not want to rush into any decisions on something that they may see as ‘non-essential’.
• Training can take place in groups of ten, observing stated social distancing and other measures – Football NSW’s ‘Return to Training’ guidelines stated this two weeks ago and as of the time of writing, it is the same. Although restrictions are being eased every week, training groups are capped at ten for the time being.
• Training is NOT restricted to children – Community clubs with high-level senior teams are now able to resume formal training. This is hopefully the first step in getting the NPLNSW back into action very soon.
• Competitions for players aged 18 and under can commence from 1 July 2020 – Perhaps the biggest news story out of this press release, competitions are on the verge of returning by the end of the month. With senior teams now training regularly, one must consider whether one month’s preparation will be enough for the players heading into the season. The isolation has essentially been a second off-season for players.
You can find Stuart Hodge’s full statement via this link:
Football NSW has welcomed today’s announcement by the NSW Government concerning the recommencement of community sport for those participants aged 18 years and under from 1 July 2020 – https://t.co/NpVSJEZoFf
— Football NSW (@footballnsw) June 2, 2020
In this time, news of this sort can only be viewed as positive. The more state competitions that begin to open up and start working towards a restart, the better.
After initial concerns regarding potential starting dates, it seems that Football NSW has opened up to the idea of restarting their season soon. Which is great to see.
There will still be concerns and that is completely understandable. At a time when we seem to be over the worst, we need to see it through to the end. In saying that, we need to be prepared for when complete normality arises and it seems as if we’re on that track.