This afternoon, the AGL Loy Yang North Gippsland Football Netball League Board of Directors wrote to all clubs to inform them that the unpalatable decision has been made to abandon the 2021 finals series.
From the letter distributed to all clubs.
I am writing to everyone again to continue my openness and transparency from within the Board room and convey some of the decisions and associated rationale.
You should all know nothing is considered lightly and nor without lengthy periods of consideration and consultancy where appropriate.
We all find ourselves anchored and locked in uncharted waters, and not only are they uncharted waters but with an environment congealed with ongoing uncertainty and with what seems constant directional change from those who govern us above.
The Board understand this drives frustration, and we equally understand that we all crave clarity to enable us to plan and execute outcomes within community sport.
Despite what any other league may be communicating, for which they are rightfully entitled to do, our Board sees many significant challenges to deliver an abridged finals competition.
There were several other major decisions decided by the Board, which have become a ramification of making this decision.
In conclusion, I trust we all understand most of season 2021 has been a tricky space to navigate and anyone involved in community sport would have been challenged one way or another.
The challenges of getting the gang back together have been immense, the drain on volunteers has been like no other and the support of sponsors at every level has been inspiring and I thank you all.
If there is anything positive to come from this news is that your Board has spoken about, what can we do in 2022 that is different and engaging, what can we do to rebuild the value in community sport.
We now have some extra thinking time to ponder the ideas we already have in the suggestion box.
So, whilst 2021 did not conclude as we all envisaged, I look forward to season 2022 with renewed enthusiasm.
I have great belief in the extended family of the NGFNL and I know that our brand will remain strong in pursuit of a collective passion for community sport.
WOW, what a ride the last 48 hours has been for us all.
Our Board understands the sense of frustration and disappointment many of you have been feeling, and we equally understand how mentally difficult it is for everyone to absorb and adjust to these constant “gear up and gear down” situations caused by these COVID lockdowns.
I admire the strength of you all, I admire how you pull together to overcome adversity and I admire the unity of togetherness we have in our Brand. Those attributes cannot be acquired; they must be manufactured from within, and I am proud of our leaders who take charge in these times, providing a way forward for others to follow. I stand and salute you all.
Of course, many of you will be wondering about the way forward and how is the future likely to unfold and I wanted to share with you all what I can at this point in time.
Firstly, we should all take a few deep breaths and think rationally about what we can control and what we cannot quickly followed by making sure we do not make a knee jerk decision when perhaps given some time, a better one could have been made.
It is our Boards absolute desire to try and deliver a Grand Final to determine our 2021 premier. I have probably been bullish over recent months advocating that one way or the other, we will deliver a premier in 2021 and to a degree, that is absolutely true.
However, I think it is also fair to say that our Board desires, and I think most people would prefer to achieve our 2021 Premier through some level of competition rather than to contemplate handing out a premiership flag without any competition.
Should the latter become our strategy, then any premiership awarded in such fashion will always be tainted in some way about how it was achieved and thus why our lack of enthusiasm for this concept is at the forefront of our minds.
The loss of last weekend’s finals games and the current lockdown for another week or two will present a series of hard-luck stories for many and I fear will also result in another series of hard-luck stories given the timeline for us to complete any finals games has now been severely impacted.
The Board met on Sunday to discuss a number of finals issues with our plan “B” strategy reviewed and recalibrated. But as mentioned above, we desire to give ourselves a few days before making any public and formal announcement to all and sundry.
What I can say here and now is that it would appear we may have only 2 weekends to get some finals action back in vogue however bearing in mind what happened last Friday night and the appetite for governments to lock down the state within several hours and therefore any thinking in that space could quickly diminish to one or none so we must remain fluid and nimble with our decisions.
We held a discussion around catering and agreed this was a frustrating topic but acknowledged the NGFNL catering roster would be rewritten for season 2022 with those clubs who had catering in 2021 at the front of the que in our proposed new roster.
We also believe any catering made available, should we be able to get back playing should be a simple nature meaning maybe a BBQ and a light refreshment station but ultimately, we will leave this decision with the catering club.
It also most likely spectators will again not be part of the equation; however, as previously advised, we intend to LIVE STREAM all action in every game, and we will not waiver from delivering that commitment to everyone.
We have also resolved to move back our league vote count with that date to be advised and aligned to when clubs are allowed to have some sort of reasonable crowd in their social rooms. The league has ordered trophies and medals etc and believes it is worthy of awarding these personal achievement awards. We will advise these details well in advance but equally, acknowledge we have some greater flexibility within this topic when it comes to an event timeline.
The Board acknowledges all the hard work our volunteers have undertaken and endured. Thank you does not seem to be enough, but your dedication and commitment is one of the great strengths within our Brand and therefore I salute you all for holding the line under adversity and really hope we can get a few finals games completed to give you all some sort of reward and validation.
To all sponsors of our league and within our clubs I again say thanks for your ongoing and untiring support in these extremely tough times. From a League perspective and I can share with you all that AGL Loy Yang have been in touch with me with constant regularity admiring the work of our clubs and reassuring us of their support both now and in the future.
This is amazing support, and we should all take some comfort from their words and unparalleled commitment to the NGFNL.
And finally, I wanted to acknowledge the work, commitment, and dedication of my fellow Directors and the Leagues Administration under adversity. Like many of your reading this article they too are volunteers who give up their time to try and deliver a quality product called the NGFNL.
Many praise me for a well-run league but it simply would not happen without our Admin and this fantastic group of Directors.
I will be in touch again before the week is out but, in the meantime, take care and look after your loved ones. Speak soon.
David J Kyle
Tonight we have received a notification from AFL Victoria that following a directive from the Victorian State Government, all community sport across regional Victoria is to be cancelled immediately.
The NGFNL Board will meet over the weekend to discuss the next steps with our finals series.
However, unfortunately, no football or netball this weekend.