K rock Football

We’ll survive: Purcell

A WELL-timed holding of the GFL finals catering rights and the support of key sponsors will ensure North Shore survives the COVID-19 enforced shutdown of the 2020 season.

Rightly or wrongly, attention has turned to whether the struggling Seagulls can ride out this unexpected interruption to local football and netball.

However, president Dale Purcell says North Shore will be ready to go when play resumes – whether that’s later this year or 2021.

“We’re probably lucky we had the catering for the finals last year,” he said.

“We found ourselves with good income into the bank for the first time in a long time.

“It’s not a heap, but it’s enough to keep us going.

“We’ve got a few sponsors that are in and are going to dip in next year, as far as I know.

“It’s going to be tight around Geelong for the next couple of years I would have thought.”

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However, Purcell has concerns at the motivation levels of players on the back end of local football club lists during the enforced break.

He has raised the prospect of not playing a reserves competition in 2020 and extending senior teams to twenty-four or twenty-five or reducing the size of reserve grade sides

“I’ve talked to other presidents, and the blokes that are 36-50 on your list, that are just playing with their mates, the motivation to play only ten games at the end of this is my concern,” Purcell said.

“A lot of things come into play, with people not working; whether they can get work; will they stay in Geelong?

“Some blokes might need to leave the area to get work or start working on weekends to make up for lost time or money that they’ve lost.

“I wouldn’t mind if there’s a rule to make it 16-a-side for the reserves.”

North Shore had several key functions planned for 2020, including a reunion of its 1980, 1990 and 2000 GFL senior football premierships, a Ladies’ Day incorporating a reunion of the 2000 A-grade netball premiership, and its Hall of Fame.

Purcell is hoping they will go ahead later in the year, creating further revenue for the club.

“We’re going to try to push ahead in the off-season,” he said.

“If it has to be done in October or November, the club still wants to go ahead with it and give people something to come to and celebrate.

“As soon as we can open things up and people can go outside, we’ll be locking in some venues.”

Twitter: @tom_king79