By Sam Watson
CLUBS in the West Gippsland Football Netball Competition are pushing for an updated fixture after the extended lockdown meant they would miss a second round in a row.
Clubs are currently pushing the league to make up for the two lost rounds by playing on the bye weekend, July 3, and moving the finals back one week.
If the finals, which are currently due to start on August 21, are moved back one week, it will allow another round to slot in at the end of the home and away season.
But moving the finals back one week would see the West Gippsland grand finals fall on the same day as the Gippsland League grand finals, September 25.
And it’s understood AFL Gippsland is trying to avoid this from happening.
Regardless, West Gippsland clubs are expected to band together and push for the change to go ahead.
The finals cannot go any further back than one week because the AFL grand final is scheduled for October 2.
But it’s a big possibility the league could miss three weeks of action, which will prove to be a massive obstacle when clubs try to get the season back on track.
The clubs will be hoping they can avoid that obstacle and return to play on June 12.
But the West Gippsland League is in a peculiar position compared to most leagues in the state.
Dalyston, Inverloch-Kongwak, Kilcunda Bass, Korumburra Bena, Phillip Island and the Warragul Industrials are in regional Victoria.
Meanwhile, Bunyip, Cora Lynn, Garfield, Koo Wee Rup, Nar Nar Goon and Tooradin Dalmore are in Greater Melbourne.
That means the six clubs in regional Victoria can resume training this Friday, but the other clubs cannot.
However, regional West Gippsland clubs are home to a lot of Melbourne players, so there may not be many numbers on the track.
Come June 12, it may be possible regional Victorians can play games of sport – but greater Melbourne still cannot – which may leave the season hanging by a thread.