Hangin’ tough as last kid on block
While district leagues abolish finals left, right and centre, one AFL Goulburn Murray disciple is not ready to abandon hope just yet.
Although Goulburn Valley, Murray and Picola District leagues have called time on any postseason action, Kyabram District League is readying a contingency plan in order for a finals series to manifest this month.
According to league president Fraser Kerrins, if community sport in regional Victoria is given the green light by September 11-12, a top-six format will take shape as follows.
Third squares off against sixth, while fourth plays fifth; the winner of each match progressing to a sudden-death semi-final where the highest-placed winner faces second on the table, the lowest-placed victor meeting the ladderleader..
Victors of those two matches then progress to the grand final a week later.
If community sport is not permitted by September 11-12, but gets the nod for the following weekend, the league will run a final-four system which will consist of first versus fourth and second versus third in knockout semifinals.
Again, the big dance will be staged the following weekend.
Lastly, if the scheduled grand final weekend of September 25-26 are the sole dates available, it will be a straight first versus second shootout based on ladder positions at the end of the home and away season.
As it stands, Lancaster and Avenel would contest for the f lag in senior football, while Tallygaroopna and Girgarre would do battle in A-grade netball.
Bent on providing its resident clubs a chance to challenge for silverware, Kerrins was adopting a tentative yet optimistic stance as September 11-12 draws nearer.
“We’re hopeful we’ll be able to get some finals up and running which is nice to conclude a season,” Kerrins said.
“It’s a bit of a let’s wait and see situation — a lot of our clubs are saying two weeks is a long time without football and netball finals, so they are pretty keen on us having a crack.
“Our clubs are aware they will more than likely be playing finals without crowds, so it’ll be a different finals series to what it has been in the past, but they are fully aware and financially supportive of that fact.”
Kerrins said the league had been in discussion with clubs concerning finals, giving information and taking on board feedback regarding how it should proceed.
He also said if finals do not eventuate the league was likely to name minor premiers, but not official premiers.