K rock Football

Agreement a roadblock to October footy

EXTENDING COVID-19 impacted local football seasons beyond September isn’t as simple as AFL Barwon and the GDFL asking for the co-operation of the Geelong and Bellarine Peninsula cricket associations.

GCA president Rob Vines said a three-year agreement signed by Victorian Government minister Martin Pakula, AFL Victoria and Cricket Australia in March 2019, which sets clearly defined dates, would have to be varied for the winter code to play into October.

Under the Division of Seasons and Occupation of Crown Lands used as grounds for Australian Rules Football competition and Cricket competition determination, the football season is limited to April 1-September 30 and cricket to October 1-March 31.

Any variation to the dates needs to be agreed upon by AFL Victoria and Cricket Australia.

“There would need to be discussions at that higher level first, I think, in the context of that agreement,” Vines told krockfootball.com.au.

“While local associations can always talk to each other – and I hope to they talk to each other more and more – I think this would have to be dealt with at that level.

“Their appetite for that, I wouldn’t have a clue. But, thinking out loud, there would be some protective attitudes, I would have thought.”

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Vines said no approach has yet been made by AFL Barwon to raise the possibility of an October or November finish if local football can get a start.

“Not at this point,” he said. “We’ve talked to AFL Barwon a lot more proactively during the cricket season because we do have some overlap issues that we need to talk about increasingly in relation to how pre-season training impacts on cricket.

“And in the context of the G21 cricket strategy and the regional governance discussions we’ve had.

“We’ve had some very positive chats with them to get some learnings from their experiences in moving to a regional governance model.

“So while we’re having much more fruitful discussions, there certainly hasn’t been any approach about this idea.”

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Vines says the GCA would be happy to take AFL Barwon Region General Manager Will McGregor’s call.

“I’m happy to talk to Will any day of the week, about anything, because Will’s a very good guy to talk to, and there’s a lot of learnings between our two sports,” Vines said.

“So, I’m always happy to talk to Will, and this would be no different.”

Twitter: @tom_king79