K rock Football

Back on track for local clubs

St Mary’s players ahead of the pre-season practice match against Aberfeldie. (Sports Media Image/Marcel Berens)

BFL and GFL clubs still in the premiership hunt will return to training as soon as Friday night despite question marks over whether there will be a return to play in 2021.

Restrictions in regional Victoria will be eased on Thursday night to allow training to resume.

However, AFL Barwon is still awaiting clarification on when competition can resume after Premier Daniel Andrews flagged on Wednesday the latest restrictions would remain in place until September 30.

If that were the case, the best-case scenario for both the BFL and GFL would likely be going straight to grand final action on Sunday, October 3.

Torquay and Modewarre would meet in the BFL decider for the first time, while the GFL grand final would feature St Mary’s and Colac for the second-straight season.

Saints co-coach Travis Robertson says his group will resume Friday night ahead of going to three nights a week from next Monday.

“It wasn’t quite the outcome we were after, but the fact we can get back to training tomorrow, we won’t muck around, and we’ll get straight into it,” he said.

“I’m just looking forward to getting back and having a chat, and getting them connected and having a kick of the footy.”

Modewarre is aiming to have a session on Saturday at Community Bank Oval.

“It’s a chance for the boys to catch up with their mates for mental health reasons more than anything else,” Warriors coach Chris Hickey said.

“I don’t think we would be doing too much; no match sim-type stuff, I wouldn’t have thought.

“It’s more to say “G’day” and have a catch and a kick.

“But, I think that if we’ve got some reasonable confidence that a grand final will be played, I’m sure our fellas will be really interested in that, and the motivation would still be there.

“We’ve just got to keep our fingers crossed.”

Torquay coach Dom Gleeson says his players are “excited” to be back training.

After finishing with the BFL minor premiership, the Tigers haven’t played since beating Portarlington on July 31.

“One of the players commented last night, “let’s train Friday morning”,” Gleeson said.

“We’ll hold off on that, but we’ll certainly get together on Friday night and do what we can as a group.

“We’re very fortunate. We’ve got plenty of ovals down here, and we set a program for the guys to follow, and we think they’ve been quite diligent with that, and they’re ready to get together and have a kick.”

Geelong West and Ocean Grove will return to training, despite being less likely to play again in 2021.

There would need to be a further easing of restrictions to allow competition to resume next week for the Giants and Grubbers to take to the field.

West coach Greg Mellor says his squad will resume on Friday night, which has qualified for both the senior and reserves finals.

“Chatting to the players over the last couple of weeks, the thing you miss is the social contact and getting together,” he said.

“It’s been a crazy couple of years.”

Ocean Grove mentor Pete Davey says even if the Grubbers don’t get a chance to build on their elimination final win, the chance to get back together is important.

However, he’s not holding out too much hope they will play.

“If it had been a week ago, maybe the league could have been in a position to juggle things around,” he said.

“But with a week to go, it’s probably curtains for us.

“Hopefully, a grand final is played, and Torquay and Modewwarre can do their stuff.”

South Barwon and St Joseph’s are in a similar boat to Geelong West and Ocean Grove.

The Swans will train in small groups over the weekend before returning to the full squad on Tuesday, while Joeys are back tomorrow night.

AFL Barwon says it’s still seeking clarity from authorities on whether the September 30 date is set in stone ahead of a commission meeting on Monday night.

Twitter: @tom_king79