K rock Football

Saints boss keen for season start

St Mary’s and Colac do battle in the 2019 GFL Grand Final. (Sports Media Image/Marcel Berens)

IDEAS to get local football and netball underway in some form in 2020 need to be looked at rather than clubs waving the white flag on the season according to St Mary’s president John McMahon.

Some clubs across the region have expressed fears about not being in a financial position to play without crowds being able to attend.

However, McMahon said scenarios in which people can watch their local team need to be looked at closely.

“You might have a limit of 70 people in your rooms at once; there are a lot of scenarios that can be put out,” he said.

“The AFL put out a hub (scenario), and they got a lot of negativity. But at least they’ve got ideas to get it going, rather than “no, we’re not doing it”.

“Let’s start putting ideas out on how we can get local football up and running.”

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McMahon has had numerous discussions with AFL Barwon Region General Manager Will McGregor, but he says the local governing body will be guided those higher up the football food chain.”

“In their defence, (people ask) “what are we doing here?”, (and) a lot of it they actually don’t know,” he said.

“I’ll defend them from people who say they are not doing much. The AFL come out and tell us what to do a fair bit, and I have no doubt it will happen in this scenario, too.

“But, there’s a bit more pressure being put on by communities to get local sport and schools back going.

“I don’t think it’s going to be easy, but we definitely need to do something to get local sport up-and-running.”

However, even though the reigning GFL premier is perceived as one of the region’s better off clubs, McMahon concedes playing without crowds is “not feasible”.

“We’re no different to every other club,” he said

“We go through the pain of finances. I speak to our treasurer three times a week – “Can we afford to pay this? Can we not afford to pay that?”

“But we are pretty organised in that area. We certainly didn’t bank for the season to be out, but we banked for our club to be out of action for some time building the rooms.

“So we were a little bit organised for money to be tight at the start of the year.”

Twitter: @tom_king79