BFNL remains on hold

Pat McKenna in action for the Gisborne Bulldogs. (Shawn Smits) 245737_01

By Oliver Lees

The Bendigo Football Netball League (BFNL) will not resume this weekend, despite the state government lifting restrictions on community sport.

The league announced all grades of football and netball would recommence on the weekend of August 7, beginning with round 16 of the amended 2021 fixture.

Gisborne Football Netball Club president John Wood said the league surveyed each of the clubs before arriving at a decision.

“If they’d chosen to go back this week, we would have, but we support the league in its decision,” Wood said.

“We’ve had some injured players for a while now so having an extra week means we can get some extra training in as opposed to throwing players back into matches.

“We’re definitely looking forward to getting the season up and going again, all of our sides are going well through netball and football.”

A BFNL spokesperson said the decision was made to “ensure the welfare” of players, staff and volunteers.

“The most recent Victorian lockdown has resulted in the unfortunate situation that the goal to achieve a full 18 round home and away season plus finals is no longer achievable,” the spokesperson said.

“The BFNL will support our clubs and participants to ensure they are now all adequately and physically prepared to return under the current outlined government restrictions for the second time this season.”

Under the current restrictions, spectators are not permitted at matches unless to supervise children.

The three rounds of the BFNL that have been missed due to Victoria’s most recent lockdown, round 13, 14, and now 15, will be abandoned with zero points awarded for each team.

Meanwhile play will resume in the Riddell District and Ballarat football netball leagues and Essendon District Football League this weekend.