K rock Football

Eagles accept season call

(Sports Media Image/Marcel Berens)

THE shortening of the GFL season was always going to impact at least one club’s finals aspirations.

In this case, Newtown & Chilwell has had its chances of a top-five finish all but extinguished by AFL Barwon’s decision on Monday morning to finish the home-and-away season after Round 17.

The Eagles sit six points outside the top five with two rounds to play.

Even if they beat Lara and Bell Park to round out the season, they will miss out.

“We understand the decision; we probably expected it to be that way,” president Shaun McWilliam said.

“We’re disappointed that it cuts out our run for the finals. The longer the season went, the more chance we had of making it.”

“We’ll accept it. We appreciate that it was a fairly difficult decision for AFL Barwon to make.

“We’d like to see the season extended and get as many games in. We’ve played ten games over the last two years, so I feel for the players that are missing out.

“The more sport we can get in, the better. But, I understand this is an unusual year again.”

Fifth-placed St Joseph’s, Geelong West (6th) and Grovedale (7th) have all supported the decision despite the potential impact on those clubs’ finals hopes.

Joeys meet Bell Park and St Albans in the final two rounds.

“The fact that we’re going to get a full season in by being able to play each other once, I don’t know why we’d take the risk of going into another lockdown if there’s no benefit to that last round,” Joeys president Todd Devine said.

“We’re supportive of it. We probably got the rough end of the pineapple, having played the top team (Colac) twice.

“But, that’s the way it is. I think we all want to get on with it and make sure we get a full season and some finals going.”

West, which hasn’t played finals since 2008, faces North Shore and South Barwon over the next fortnight.

“We’re happy, and we’re supportive of the call AFL Barwon’s made,” Giants chair Saran Naylor said.

“We’re keen to get through the season and get through finals.”

Grovedale faces tough challenges against South Barwon and St Mary’s.

Win both, and the Tigers will feature in the GFL finals for just the seventh time.

“We think it’s the only fair way to go,” co-president Simon Hose.

“If we get another lockdown, the season mightn’t finish at all, and that’s not good for anyone.

“Let’s get in, get it done, and hopefully, we’re part of it.”

Colac president Matt Gibson also welcomed the decision but conceded that the local governing body wouldn’t please everyone.

“When you take a step back and think, “what’s the best decision for the competition?”, to me, that is the best decision,” he said.

Twitter: @tom_king79