AFL South East (AFLSE) today regretfully announce the decision to cancel all junior football competitions across the region in 2020.
AFLSE was left with no alternative but to cancel football across the Frankston and Districts Junior Football League (FDJFL), South East Juniors (SEJ) and AFL South East Top-Age (AFLSETA) after Tuesday’s announcement from Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews that metropolitan Melbourne would return to stage-three lockdown from 11.59 pm on Wednesday, July 8.
All community sport is banned for the six-week duration of the lockdown – effectively ending all forms of competition and training until earliest Wednesday, August 19. Given the statement from the Premier and the current Covid-19 outbreak across Victoria, AFLSE has decided that the current environment is not conducive to hosting safe and meaningful competitions this year.
Please find below a joint statement, with fellow metropolitan leagues – Northern Football Netball League, Eastern Football Netball League, Essendon District Football League and Western Region Football League – joining the SEJ in announcing the cancellation of football and netball across these leagues in 2020.
SEJ’s presence on this statement stems from its metropolitan status, but all forms of competition across the AFLSE region – including FDJFL and AFLSETA – have now been cancelled.
Head of South Eastern Victoria Richard Black said that while the decision would be disappointing for many – the reduction of Covid-19 cases in Victoria was clearly the number one priority.
“Whilst we are disappointed to cancel junior football this year, the health and wellbeing of the community have always been our top priority,” Black said.
“Covid-19 has presented a very unique set of circumstances and we need to ensure that our participants and volunteers emerge from this pandemic in a healthy state.
“We look forward to working with our clubs to create a safe and healthy environment for all members and volunteers as we put plans in place for 2021.”
AFLSE Chief Operating Officer Shaun Connell thanked all junior clubs and corporate partners for the important role they have played throughout the challenging Covid-19 journey.
“The last few months have been unprecedented in terms of managing community sport and I would like to thank the leaders of our clubs for being engaged in the process,” Connell said.
“All clubs understand the associated challenges and impact that Covid-19 has had and were very open and balanced with their views. Both AFLSE and the clubs have a clear obligation to protect participants, volunteers, officials, umpires, supporters, and their families during these times.
“And our corporate partners have been rock-solid in their support, with junior football partners such as Chisholm, Bendigo Bank, Bank of Queensland, Totally Workwear, Melbourne FC, St Kilda FC, McDonald’s, Loco Sportswear, Heatstrip, Advanced Trophies, Garrleigh Trophies and our entire supply network set to play a huge role in our planning and eventual return to community sport over the coming months.”