Local football planning

Restart: The race is on for the commencement of the community football season as early as possible in July. Picture: John Veage
Restart: The race is on for the commencement of the community football season as early as possible in July. Picture: John Veage

The NSW Government is moving to ease sporting restrictions, but at this stage, it doesn't include community sport -until a 'Return to Play' plan and guidelines have been endorsed, no organised training or competition is to take place.

There is no doubt the 2020 local football season will be different to any other experienced due to cancellations and adherence to Government restrictions, but the Sutherland Shire Football Association firmly believe that getting back onto the pitch in 2020 will have significantly more significant benefits to the community than electing to cancel the season altogether.

Their simple objective is to play as many games of football in 2020 as they can.

Over the past few months, the SSFA and Clubs have been busy working on plans to 'Return to Football' and preliminary planning has the season commencing as early as possible in July after the NSW Public Health Order has ceased to operate or been repealed.

Matt Brady, the President of Sutherland Shire Football Association, said they are working with summer sport (particularly Cricket) and Sutherland Council to ensure they can deliver as many matches as they possibly can under the circumstances.

"There will be strict Government Guidelines we must adhere to, which will include the number of people that can gather. This may impact our ability to deliver special events, such as Finals Series, and Award Functions." Brady said

All football activity currently remains suspended at least until 31 May 2020, and players are encouraged to stay active during this time- it is best to do so in isolation.

In preparing for a return to football, the SSFA is working with other FNSW Associations to draft a set of guidelines for football and will need to modify the way they schedule, prepare, play, train, referee, coach, socialise and celebrate to ensure compliance keeping the football family safe and healthy.

The National Principles for the resumption of community sport guidelines, which will be specific to football, will be provided to all members once the Federal Government, the State Government and both FFA and FNSW have provided their input and been signed off.

"We cannot stress how important it is to understand and respect these new guidelines if we want to stay on the park in 2020."Matt Brady said

The SSFA is following the direction provided by Governments, theFFA and Football NSW, with community health the priority.

We cannot stress how important it is to understand and respect these new guidelines

Matt Brady