EXCITEMENT is building among Cobden’s junior footballers and netballers ahead of the competitive return of their chosen sports this Saturday.
The Bombers’ under 18.5, 16, 14 and 12 football teams and the 17, 16, 15, 14, 13 and 12 and under netball sides will kick off their 2020 seasons against Terang Mortlake at Cobden Community Bank Recreation Reserve.
It will be the first game of a nine round season, which will run each Saturday until September 19, with the start of the junior season coming more than three months after the original scheduled start date.
After cancelling its senior seasons, the Hampden Football Netball League (HFNL) opted to focus on its junior competitions and combined the Saturday-Sunday run competitions into one for this season.
Cobden president Darren Mounsey said he was looking forward to seeing football and netball at local level once again.
He said its return had “been well received” following an unprecedented and lengthy disruption due to COVID-19.
The Bombers worked diligently in recent months to implement stringent protocols for a return of training and competition, with the competition to run subject to Victorian Government advice as well as AFL Victoria guidelines.
Clubs will not operate canteens, charge entrance fees or hold raffles while changing rooms will remain closed except for emergencies and toilet facilties and when required bad weather for showers.
According to government regulations, spectators may attend matches but those in attendance must abide by social distancing guidelines and may not congregate in groups of more than 10.
Those attending in vehicles are encouraged to remain in their vehicles for the duration of their stay.
“Obviously the whole Hampden league was keen to run a season if we could but only if we had all the right things in place,” Mounsey said.
“It’s strict with everything (all the protocols) but I guess we’ll just look to start the season first and if it all goes well and if we can keep going we will but we just have to see what the government does (ahead of future rounds).
“The kids are all pretty pleased to be playing again.”
Mounsey said the uncertainty of restrictions and regulations around COVID-19 had made it unknown for the most part if football and netball would be played at all this year.
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