IT ALL hinges on what the Premier Daniel Andrews has to say ahead of a major easing of COVID-19 restrictions on Monday, June 22.
But it seems likely there will be football and netball competition in Gippsland, from Saturday, July 18.
“We had a meeting of the league during the week,” said Leongatha FNC President Mal Mackie.
“They talked about a Saturday, July 18 start but it all depends on what the government has to say on June 22.
“I still believe that without crowds there can be no country footy, it just wouldn’t be viable. No crowds no footy.
“It’s just not sustainable for clubs to go in and lose a lot of money affecting what happens in the years ahead.
“All the clubs in the Gippsland League and in agreement there,” he said.
But Mr Mackie conceded it was more likely now that there would be football and netball played in the Gippsland League this year than it was a few months ago.
“We had the Under 16s and Under 18s back last week and the Seniors start on Monday night (June 15) with training restrictions in place.”
Mr Mackie said he believed player numbers at Leongatha would be good but he said the Parrots had not explored the potential for welcoming players back from Melbourne or from neighbouring areas where no football was going ahead.
“We haven’t looked at that, no.”
But he stressed it all depends on what the Premier says ahead of the end to the official ‘State of Emergency’ period, which was extended by the government last month until 11.59pm on 21 June 2020.
If all goes according to plan, on June 22 the limit on the number of people able to attend inside venues will rise to 50 people, with cinemas and theatres finally able to open their doors again.
National Gallery of Victoria, the Melbourne Museum, Scienceworks, State Library Victoria and parts of Arts Centre Melbourne will officially re-open to the public on Saturday, 27 June.
Mr Andrews said last month the state would look to further relax restrictions from June 22 if transmission rates remained low and testing rates remained high, which is the case.
From that date, indoor fitness and recreation facilities are scheduled to open with up to 20 people per space and up to 10 people per group or activity at any one time.
Down in Tasmania, several leagues have already set dates for their return and will be allowed to have 500 people through the gate.
Whether spectators will be allowed to attend country football provided they stay in their cars, is another suggestion.
But there will certainly be more pep in the step of local footballers as they arrive at real training this week with the prospect that Saturday, July 18 will be the day.