Category: League

President’s Report – Round 6

 

Hello everyone and welcome to round 6. Well, it has been a few weeks since I have put pen to paper and there has been no shortage of topics to keep myself and the board busy over the past 4 weeks.

Last Saturday I started the day by heading to the home of JETS for a bit of league business and as usual I was welcomed by those friendly gatekeepers who have a thankless job but one which is extremely important. A few weeks ago, I could not get this venue for the opening of their New Netballs sheds, but I had the opportunity to walk around and see the fruits of their hard work which I am sure all clubs will now enjoy and have the opportunity to share in future weeks and years.

Thereafter I headed to Gordon st Rec reserve at Heyfield to help celebrate the amazing 1000 game achievement and milestone by SUA umpire Peter Perillo. I would like to thank the Heyfield and Yarram FNC’s for the respectful guard of honour as Pete entered the ground. This was a nice symbolic gesture willingly provided by both clubs and players. I think anyone within the NGFNL who has a football interest or involvement would know Pete and that alone is a testament to his longevity and impact on the game within the NGFNL.

In the social rooms after the game and on behalf of all NGFNL Clubs I presented Pete a certificate of appreciation to mark this milestone in his umpiring journey. I suspect there are a few more games in those legs and wonder if a larger milestone like 1500 games is not achievable. Well done, Pete.

My final trek on my Saturday and third venue of the day was to attend the inaugural night game at TTU which was hosting the Churchill Cougars. The weather gods presented a few minor challenges but from all reports, there were some great games and a good outcome was achieved. Both clubs should be congratulated. Despite the competitive games of football and netball the broader objective of the day was to raise awareness and support for charity Quantum which provides support & care across Gippsland to address the needs of community members.  Well done everyone.

I am pleased to say that four out of the first five weeks of competition in the NGFNL have seen zero reportable incidents which is quite unique and reflects significant disciple from all clubs. A couple of indiscretions in round 4 had set penalties accepted and kept us from a faultless start to season 2022. Again, leadership across all levels is the key here and our game is much better for your efforts. Well done and I look forward to seeing what round 6 will deliver on this front.

On Wednesday night 11th May our newly formed junior subcommittee met for the first time to discuss and scope out the project objectives of our under 17 & under 19 plans for 2023. I am encouraged by the positive and proactive thinking which has been part of this of this groups thinking as this topic has been a tricky one to tackle for many various reasons. However, I acknowledge there will be some challenges before the start of 2023 season but in my eyes, despite any challenge we must strive to bridge the age bracket gap, create a pathway for players and parents to gravitate towards which has clarity, purpose and structure. When appropriate I will share further updates as they unfold on this topic with you all.

Even though it is only round 6 the Board is already thinking about our finals series and many decisions which flow from an organization perspective. We know now there will be issues at the Traralgon Rec Reserve which are exacerbated by Latrobe City planned capital works at this venue together with any pending Commonwealth games impact which intend venturing into various parts of Regional Victoria. In 2021 the Board was prepared to hold our Grand Final at Heyfield given their improved facilities specifically around the Netball courts, and this remains a viable option for us to consider in 2022.

From a finals catering perspective, the Board is in the process of re-writing the catering roster as we need to work our 11th Club YYN FNC into that roster and of course we lost some finals catering due to the 2 years of COVID impacts. There is a school of thought that our Grand Final is becoming such a big event and volunteer numbers stretched around most clubs that perhaps it is time for us to rotate a third club into the day’s activities and perhaps even our Preliminary Final becomes a shared event. Should we choose this path then clubs can expect to gain more regular income streams from finals catering than in previous years. Our intention is to table something shortly to our member clubs.

In round 2 I shared the news that the Yarram FNC could not field an 15 and Under Netball team however by Round 4 the club had found enough young ladies to register a team. Unfortunately, COVID and it’s protocols resulted in another forfeit in round 5. I sympathise with the YFNC and all players given the challenging to start to season 2022. I hope the worst is behind them and that from round 6 it is all smooth sailing. Keep your chin up we are thinking of you all.

This week our clubs will receive some information about a new initiative from our Board looking for nominations within our league for the “Un-sung Hero” programme. We will have a May, June, July, and August winner selected from nominations received. Another good initiative to recognize those invaluable volunteers around our league. If you have any ideas, then speak to your club President or Secretary who will have all the finer details about the criteria and nomination process.

I found a few old photos by default one of which was that mark by Stazza from Cowwarr a few years back and this got me thinking that maybe we could create a fun photo competition for us all in 2022. If you are a budding photographer (or happy snapper like Rodders and Fiona to name a couple) then get your gear ready to snap all sorts of photos around our league and send them to our League Admin for judging and display. Hopefully, come finals we will have an impressive photo gallery to pick our inaugural 2022 winner. We are working on a prize pool for the above 2 initiatives but most likely this will in the form of gift vouchers for our respective winners. Anyway, stay tuned to see what these initiatives can deliver to our Brand. I am excited by both.

For a number of weeks now our future stars of Netball have been attending tryouts for the selection of representative teams and to everyone who has participated including parents, coaches and assistants I offer a huge thank you. It is an exciting time to have NGFNL representative teams participate in external competitions. In the Boards eyes, it is well worth the investment. Apart from having the honour of wearing a NGFNL uniform, there are many other side benefits such as playing in a higher level of competition, new friends made and self-development. I have no doubt these young ladies will remember these times for many years to come. Good luck one and all.

Equally on the Football side of our brand we have appointed Robbie Cahill as our Under 18 interleague Coach for 2022. Rob has a passion for junior sport and has coached at a couple of clubs within the NGFNL before work and family necessitated a move away however we are fortunate to have him back. Formal requests for players nominations am will flow into club’s hands during the week and we are hopeful of putting together our strongest possible team for June 29th Carnaval in Morwell. Our league is always looking for assistance and I would like to think we can find a few trainers and alike to assist these young men in preparation for this upcoming event. If you are interested, please let me or our Administration know as it would be appreciated.

I happened to see something in my travels last week that I think is worthy of my time to make an appropriate and notable mention. At the conclusion of the YYNFNC & Cowwarr FNC Under 18 game both clubs came to together to shake hands and offer respectful congratulations, however the Coach of YYNFNC brought all the boys together and made special mention about how the game was played in good spirit and despite the Jets significant victory praised the young Saints for their efforts and encouraged them to keep working hard and listen to their respective coaches. Now despite the passion to win games of football, I think this is a great example of a Coach and Club who sees the bigger picture and I applaud and endorse these actions because from what I saw these young Saints have some talent and I have no doubt will be future stars of the CFNC in future years. Well done everyone.

Well, that’s enough from me as I am onto page 3 but hopefully you have found this update of interest. I wish all teams the best of luck today and I look forward to catching up with some you this weekend.

Play hard but play fair.

Speak soon David “dirty” Kyle President

2022 Season Fixture Released

 

After yet another disrupted year, the AGL Loy Yang North Gippsland Football Netball League is looking forward to an exciting season in 2022.

The 18 round season officially commences on Saturday 2nd April, with the 2022 Grand Final scheduled for Saturday 10th September 2022.

Download the 2022 AGL Loy Yang NGFNL Season Fixture HERE.

Presidents Report – COVID Update & Special Edition

 

Hello everyone

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
President NGFNL

President’s Report

 

Hello everyone and welcome to round 10. Another busy week unfolded, and I can assure you all there are plenty of administrative issues to address as we race towards out 2021 finals series.

By the time you all get to read this article it will have become public knowledge that our league will abandon rounds 17 and 18 from our 2021 draw and our finals series will remain as previously scheduled with our Grand Final date or 11th of September remaining unchanged. I guess this strategy contained the least disruption and I equally acknowledge this option allowed some level of normality and structure in everyone’s plans and life.

But in the other hand what is normal about anything COVID related and the dramatic impacts a sudden lockdown can have? Somehow, we adjust our thinking, adjust our plans and adjust our lives accordingly which is admirable to say the least.

What some of you may not know is that our Board also proposed an extended season version for our clubs to contemplate and to a degree I wonder if an opportunity was missed to elevate our Brand in substitution of a path of least resistance and I thought I would share a few thoughts?

Firstly, our draw was already an uneven creature and COVID only exacerbated this element. Our 2021 draw was already a reduced version from any historic template of 9 home and 9 away games to an 8 home and 8 away game season. The loss of 2 further weeks will now see the draw reduced to become a 7 home and 7 away season (14 games) and there was a strong argument for not falling to reduced format when a window existed to leave that element of our draw intact.

Yes, extending the season out 2 weeks would have created a new Grand final date but with that proposed change came a level of excitement, opportunity and some risk. I am a half glass full kind of guy and I believe this was an opportunity in a crazy mixed up year to try something different and find out if this could possibly be a pillar of strength for our league in future years, but that view is not shared by all. In my eyes any pain could have answered many future sustainability questions.

Regardless of the 2021 decision if our league desires to return to a 9 home and 9 away scheduling fixture in future years then we need to find more weeks in the footy calendar to rollout any such combination and that means either starting the season earlier, maybe losing the general bye on Queens Birthday weekend and the possibly finishing later. Should a later finish be inevitable then again adopting a 2021 extended season option would have presented an opportunity to answer some questions in preparation for future years and the challenges of scheduling.

I think it is also important to highlight that many supported a theory that if option one was chosen it would allow a buffer to extend the season should we have another COVID lockdown happen. Well, I simply do not subscribe to that rationale or theory. In my eyes should that happen then our season is basically over.

Based on the history of Victoria’s 4 previous lockdowns the relaxation of restrictions by higher authorities would not be quick enough to allow our competition to move into a finals phase. Even as I write this report, we are approx. 6 weeks since lockdown 4 was imposed on Victorians and yet even today we can only have 1000 patrons at venues. Why would anyone think that should another lockdown be imposed that a 2 week buffer would be suffice a plan B strategy as we enter into a final’s series. Our league requires patronage of approx. 1500 for minor finals and upwards of 4000 for our grand final let alone thinking about social distancing compliance?

Whilst I could raise a number of others issues in any forward planning space such as the possible inclusion of an additional team into the NGFNL in the future, or some level of a weighted fixture after all clubs have played each other once and maybe an extended finals series or the extended number of participating teams in a finals series have elements of creating a vibrant future for the league the bottom line will always remain that any structural amendment within our league must come with due process, the freedom of debate and democratic principles applying thereafter. 

A further element of interest in this space has been the questioning of where our 2021 Grand Final be held given the recent floods in Traralgon? We have had a few discussions with Latrobe City and they are hoping games will resume back at the Traralgon Rec reserve by Mid July and that their insurance inspections and claim applications are progressing well. A number of capital and rebuild projects are about to commence if not already commenced such as works to player change rooms the Canteen, Bar and Netball pavilion.

From a playing surface perspective, they will also need the weather gods to provide them with a little of latitude, grace and forbearance. Despite the unsightly brown tinge across the surface given time and good drainage there is an expectation games will return on or around the date mentioned above. That being said any adverse weather may delay or protract that timeline.

This report is written on Mondays so unfortunately, I cannot share any results but our Under 18 interleague team played in Morwell on Wednesday the 30th of June. I have no doubt these young men would have represented our League with a degree of pride and credibility regardless of any result. I would like to thank Coaches Daniel Missen and Heath Fox for their dedication, leadership and inspiration to these young men. Team Manager Todd Parnell has attended to this this thankless role for a number of years and we should all thank him for his support. Trainers, timekeepers, water people, runner and parents are all to be thanked and acknowledged. Well done everyone for representing our Brand on this important date on the football calendar.

Gormandale host Cowwarr today and both clubs would love to celebrate a win however unless there is draw I suspect there can only be one winner when the final siren sounds. Not by choice but I have not had the opportunity to visit the home of the Tigers thus far this season but know they will be working hard on and off the field to have their club represented in the highest possible light and accordingly I wish them well. The Saints on the other hand will have trained hard this week in the hope of securing 4 points. In my eyes the Saints were a little unlucky to be on the wrong end of the stick last week against Sale City as they had opportunities to win but did not take them. Maybe this week it will be a different story. Regardless I trust a good day is had by all.

In other games the Roo’s will host the boys from YYN who are taking all before them in recent weeks. It is hard to see the Roo’s stopping the Bombers charge to the finals but one should never underestimate any team called Heyfield.

Rosedale will host the Pies and I think this could be a competitive match albeit the Blues are hard to beat home. Having said that the Pies will turn up holding no fear in their belly and with a solid victory under their belt last week.

The Doggies will take on TTU who will be fresh from last weeks bye. If the Doggies are thinking finals, they simply must win. On the other hand TTU must claim another scalp to be considered a genuine threat otherwise they could easily end up in the also ran category.

Finally, the Cats will host the Cougars. The Cats will be looking to put to bed some historic results and show to all and sundry there is a genuine reason for their 2021 ladder position, however, the Cougars will be looking for a few list inclusions and know they will need to be at their best today if they intend to depart the Cattery with 4 points in the bank.

Play hard but play fair and speak soon.                          

David J Kyle – President.

The 2021 Gippsland Pride Cup

 

‘Playing for pride’ takes on new meaning for Yarram and Rosedale football netball clubs this weekend when they contest the fourth annual AGL Loy Yang North Gippsland Football Netball League Pride Cup.

The Demons play host to the Blues at Yarram Recreation Reserve on Saturday in a round of matches dedicated to the promotion and celebration of diversity and inclusion in grassroots community sport.

The Gippsland Pride Cup was first staged in 2016 and has become a regular fixture on the North Gippsland Football Netball League calendar, with participating clubs showing their support of the LGBTIQ+ community to help tackle homophobia in sport.

Rainbow 50m arcs will adorn the football oval, while the respective senior football and A grade netball teams will be wearing specially-designed jumpers and dresses incorporating the rainbow flag.

Rosedale becomes the fourth club to take part in the initiative, following in the footsteps of inaugural participants Glengarry and Traralgon Tyers United and this year’s host, Yarram, which lined up against TTU in the most recent edition in 2019.

“The Gippsland Pride Cup is unique to the NGFNL and we are proud to bring this to the community of football and netball and hope to lead the way for others to follow,” NGFNL President David Kyle said.

“We know education is a key component to the Pride Cup’s success and we would like to thank the many organisations who have offered support, none more so than our major sponsor AGL Loy Yang who is well known as an equal opportunity employer.

“We have no doubt this will be another successful day and we welcome anyone who desires to come and attend and enjoy the events.”

AGL Loy Yang General Manager Nigel Browne said it was fantastic to see the Gippsland Pride Cup return on the 22 May after a challenging year.

“We are proud to be part of this important event for the LGBTQ+ community,” Mr Browne said.

“The overwhelming support to bring the Pride Cup back this year highlights the event’s value within our local community.

“To show our support for this year’s event we will be projecting the pride colours on Loy Yang A’s cooling tower during Pride month in June.

“At AGL we are committed to building an inclusive and supportive workplace for LGBTQ+ employees, events like Pride Cup allow everyone to come together and celebrate diversity across our communities.”

The action commences at 9:00am with the 15-and-under netball, with the main games scheduled to start at 2:15pm.

Round 5 – President’s Report

 

Hello everyone and welcome to round 5 in the NGFNL.

Can you believe a quarter of the home and away games have now been completed as the 2021 season continues to roll on with relentless momentum and unpredictable results!!!

Last weekend was another full day for the President which started at the home of the Magpies who were hosting the Yallourn Yallourn North for the first time. It was great to hear about the welcoming conversations which had occurred between both clubs prior to this game to ensure all matters were addressed prior to the day. Sometimes it is the simple things that provide the greatest benefit as President Whitty ensured the Yallourn club were briefed of change rooms facilities, warm up area’s, parking and catering supplies increased to ensure all would be fed and watered. In addition, the usual invitation was extended to the executive and key personal of Yallourn to attend the half time afternoon tea function and meet their counterparts. Well done to all at Magpie land.

Around midday I headed to the home of the mighty Saints who were hosting the Cougars and as usual I was warmly welcomed by all. There was plenty of banter and the sun was shining. I had my umpiring kit bag in hand to don the green uniform in the 2.15 game. I must admit I was thinking a sunny day with excellent ground conditions would produce a fast paced and highly skillful game. I would need to draw on some experience and work smart with my fellow umpire Robbo to keep up with that anticipated pace. At the end of the day the Cougars pulled away in the second half for a comfortable win despite the grit and determination I have come to expect of the Cowwarr boys.

In other games the exciting nature of this league continued with our second draw of the season between TTU and Yarram being delivered. This must have been a cracker of a match and when the final siren sounded, I suspect some unusual emotions emanate from neither winning nor losing.  My guess is that in any tight tussle there is always missed opportunity but no amount of time after the final siren will change the end result. Notwithstanding this, 2 points in the bank may prove to be a blessing or a curse and redemption will just have to wait.

In another exciting game the Doggies had a victory over the Cats by the smallest of margins and no doubt everyone in attendance were equally on the edge of their seats. You are never doing much wrong to lose a game of football by a small margin but there is no doubt being on the right side of the ledger when the final siren sounds will make you feel a whole heap better. The Cats have not done a lot wrong this season so they will no doubt reload and look forward to today’s game. The Yallourn boys played a solid game and proved too strong against the Pies. At home the Tigers were hopeful of better showing however the Roo’s finished the day with a score board result to impress.

Finally, on Saturday night I had the pleasure of attending the 130 year celebration at the Churchill Football Netball Club which included the release of the book titled Roo’s Woods and Cougars on the history of the club written by author Gavin Wigginton and the unveiling of a club portrait which included 60 personalities from the past 60 years and painted by local artist and past player himself David Shields.

These projects were both significant in nature and undertaken by the Past Players Committee where hundreds of hours were invested to see these projects become reality. The end result has in my eyes been the creation of two historic items that will forever be treasured by the club.

It should also be noted that the significant contribution of women within this club has equally been captured and recognized which endorses the values and culture of the CFNC.

In regard to the painting, it will be located in the social bar area of the club rooms and I encourage every visiting NGFNL member to take a moment and admired this amazing piece of creativity and maybe some of your will identify a few faces. Well done to the past players and current committee’s of the Churchill Football Netball Club.

On a less pleasurable note, the news of Scott Andersons health issues has become more publicly known to us all within the NGFNL. Scott and his family have had an endearing and significant history within the Heyfield FNC and the NGFNL. Regretfully Scott has endured some bleeding on the brain after a game a few weeks ago and has undergone multiple surgeries in attempt to address and fix this significant and complicated health issue.

I don’t know of anyone within the NGFNL who would not speak highly of Scott and his family and can only imagine how difficult it has been for the Anderson Clan and anyone who knows Scott. What I can assure the Anderson family is that our collective thoughts are with them all and that we trust Scott is in good hands and on the recovery path.

The Heyfield FNC have typically rallied their support and are starting some fund raising projects to assist the family with associated medical costs and recovery strategies. Should anyone with the NGFNL Brand have any ideas of how they could assist then I suspect the Heyfield FNC would welcome any level of support. I know the HFNC are about to put together a major raffle and any ticket purchases or donations would be greatly appreciated and hopefully our Brand and member clubs will again show the broader sporting community why we are different and that we can equally rally when required. # be north gippy

So if you get asked to buy a ticket then I trust you will dig deep if you can as I know every cent of profit will end up making a huge difference.

In this week’s matches we have another batch of tantalizing games for us all to enjoy. Churchill host TTU and they will desperate to hold their recent form over the TTU Bombers. On the other hand, the boys from Tyers need to find a way to bank 4 points before they start losing touch of the top 5 teams. Yallourn will host the Saints but based on current form look to be too strong at home.

Heyfield vs Rosedale is a ripping match up. The Roo’s are on top of the ladder and will be full of confidence, but the Blues will mark this game as a must win game if they are to be taken seriously.

Down at the Cattery they will be looking to bounce back at the expense of the Tigers but the men from Gormandale are improving every week and I think this game will closer than some punters are forecasting. If at three quarter time things are tight on the scoreboard then anything is possible!!

Finally, down in Demon land, Yarram will host the Sale City Doggies who in recent weeks have found a way to hang tough against quality opposition. The Dogs will need to be at their best, but they have the talent and potential to cause an upset. On the other hand, the Dee’s are incredibly hard to beat at home and I am sure Coach Staley would not like to sustain two home town losses in the first 5 games of the season. That being said, a win to the Doggies would set tongues and tails wagging should they get over the line in this one. For what it is worth my 0.50c is on the Dees

Well, that’s enough from me for one week.

Keep well and keep safe. Play hard but play fair.

David “dirty” Kyle

President NGFNL

Round 2 President’s Report

 

Hello everyone and welcome to round 2 in the NGFNL.

As I start to write this report a lot has happen in a few weeks as clubs prepared for round one and opened their respective venues to the public. The majority of other clubs will get that opportunity this weekend. In essence it was great to back playing and watching the games we love unfold.

Let’s a take a minute to reflect when round one for the NGFNL was opened at Yarram on Good Friday. Firstly, I want to thank Anthony and his many volunteers for making a significant effort to not only welcome the Yallourn Yallourn Nth Football Netball Club into our league but equally presenting a venue in tip top shape for us all to enjoy including addressing a COVID safe plan which made the day pleasant for all in attendance. Regardless of who won what game played on Good Friday in my eyes Football, Netball and the NGFNL Brand were the real winners and I again thank everyone for their contribution and involvement.

The welcome to country and flag ceremony together with the quality of games and umpiring on the day were without doubt some of the many highlights for me. Well done everyone.

The Woodside Football Netball Club also started the year well when hosting the Glengarry FNC. The Cats also opened the season by banking a few premiership points. They too should be congratulated for their welcome to country ceremony conducted during Thursday nights training session. There is no doubt this club thinks very deeply about their history, heritage and affiliation with all indigenous aspects of their club and surrounding community. I am sure this is one small reason why Woodside ranks highly around all issues of inclusiveness and making members, players and guests welcome at their venue. Well done to all at Woodside you have again raised the bar in this aspect of our league. 

 In other games Gormandale hosted Sale City, with the visitors proving too strong when the final siren sounded. Heyfield were challenged by their rival neighbors Cowwarr early but despite the promising efforts of the Saints the home team secured the points to start the season well.

In what was a highly skillful and anticipated game between two clubs whom I expected to be finals contenders in 2021 the game between Rosedale and TTU lived up to all expectations. In difficult windy conditions and the odd shower of rain drifting through the venue, the skill of all players was evident for all to see. At the end of the day the TTU boys secured victory by a handful of points but this result could have gone either way and I think everyone should hold your heads up high. Well done everyone.

Of course, that now brings me to round 2 and already some cracking games look like they will entertain the punters and crowds this week. Yallourn Yallourn Nth will host their first NGFNL game against a quality club in Churchill who are our reigning premiers from 2019. The Cougars have a long history of meeting every challenge with gusto and achieving success when others doubt their credentials. I am sure the YYNFNC will take nothing for granted and prepare for a tough day at the office and I trust my expectations of cracking game is delivered for all and sundry to witness. Good luck to all.

Sale City versus Rosedale should be another game I will be watching with interest. Both clubs have a very strong and combative history and I would expect nothing else when 2.15 pm arrives today. Just to add a little bit of spice Brad McKay newly appointed coach of Rosedale will be looking to taste sweet success over a club which he has many fond memories and friendships. Nonetheless despite Brad’s history with the SALE City club I am sure his Rosedale blues will be very eager to open their account and take home the 4 points which is on offer at this game. Good luck to everyone.

TTU will host Heyfield and again this should be a ripping game. In my eyes although it is very early in the season this game may give us all a little bit of a baseline on how both these clubs will set up season 2021. One of these clubs will end the day with a win loss ratio of 2 and zip which will have them well placed to forge ahead with the season expectations fully intact. The other will find themselves in the middle of the pack licking their wounds of losing a round 2 game and thinking about redemption in round 3. Some might think these comments are an early call by the President but I remind you all this is a 16 game season not the traditional 18 we have been known for in the NGFNL. Therefore, every win has extra value in achieving your 2021 expectations and in my eyes the team who happens to lose this game will face significant additional pressure to perform in round 3 and should another loss be delivered then that will set tongues a wagging about finals expectations!!

In other league news many of you would have noticed the marketing campaign which has hit the airwaves and prime TV around what it means to be north gippy. This is an exciting initiative which I think is another first for the NGFNL. We plan to rollout a series of these advertisements with the current campaign focused around what players and club stalwarts have missed about their club and community sport after a year of COVID lockdown. Hopefully, in the near future you will hear form our club volunteers what they love about the NGFNL and volunteering together with what inclusion and diversity messaging means within our league and finally what the excitement of a finals series means to our members and supporters. Face book and our league website will also give you an opportunity to view this marketing concept so please go ahead and check it out.

COVID update. I congratulate everyone who is actively working on this topic within clubs and at our venues on game day. This topic has been a source of frustration to us all but we can all help ease the pain but a few simple actions. Most clubs have been handing out QSR details at the gate so that we can scan into the venue and I can only encourage you all to ensure that you electronically sign into our venues using this information. Should you not be familiar with this process or action please ask as you find heaps of NGFNL people willing to help even if they are not form your club.

In my eyes we all have a responsibility when entering venues, we must be mindful where possible of social distancing, if you feel unwell please stay at home and our clubs have been commendable in placing hand sanitizer in multiple locations and I encourage you all to use sanitizers regularly throughout the day. The work and imposts placed on clubs to sanitize after games, equipment and benches and tables is a taxing issue and you can help by attending to your personal responsibilities in this space. Please help us all ensure our games continue and our clubs remain safe venues for all and sundry.

Finally, it was great to see the Rosedale FNC running the “net set go” program for their future netball stars. I am sure this initiative gives these children some aspiration to play the game of netball and I have no doubt they watch our senior players with the aspiration of being on that court at some point in the future. Great work Rosedale and to any other club which is also running with this initiative.

Well that’s enough waffle from me for one week.

Keep well and keep safe. Play hard but play fair and I will speak to you all again real soon.

David J Kyle

President NGFNL