By Sam Watson

THE West Gippsland Football Netball Competition has announced the 2021 season will be abandoned.

After consulting all their clubs and on the back of Wednesday’s state government announcement to extend the lockdown in metro Melbourne, the league declared they will not try to salvage a senior or junior season.

The league and its clubs had a strong intention to complete a 2021 finals series but due to the current restrictions and the lack of a timeline of the easement on restrictions, it’s too tall a task to get back on track.

It was always going to be a tough ask, especially with half the clubs residing in Melbourne and the reliance on Melbourne players for some clubs in regional Victoria.

In a statement released today, the league said they’re “committed to working closely with their member clubs, AFL Victoria, AFL Gippsland and Netball Victoria to manage the associated issues related to the cancellation of all competitions and working towards a return to play next season”.

They also stated teams who finished on top of their respective ladders will be recognised as the minor premiers only.

The 2021 best and fairest vote counts will take place online with presentations to be arranged soon.

West Gippsland also thanked everyone involved in the league in what was an adversity filled season.

“We wish to take this opportunity to thank all clubs, players, parents, volunteers, officials, umpires and league partners for your patience, support, and cooperation throughout the 2021 season.”