Even though the pandemic is hardly over, Australia is gradually opening up again, and across the board sports are looking to resume in some form or another. So are is the NPL Victoria coming back this year?
Last week indiscreet murmurings on internet forums suggested that in our division, nine of the fourteen clubs weren't too keen to resume in 2020. Furthermore, the other five clubs, while wanting to resume, were sympathetic to those that didn't want to start again, especially if it meant not having crowds and the associated revenue at games.
But this apparent understanding began coming undone when news seeped out that the NPL 2 and 3 teams were keen on getting their seasons underway. How this would work without promotion to and relegation from the top division is an interesting question.
The whole notion of a detente however was blasted out of the water by Hume City's president Steve Kaya, who railed against the apparently ten NPL Victoria clubs refusing to resume, and noting that his club had resumed training. So, one team named within one faction, thirteen more to go across both. Then Green Gully announced that it was also resuming training, and the question for me was where did South sit?
My hunch - and it was only a hunch - was probably on the side of South being one of those not keen on coming back. That's less because of middling our performances had been, and mostly because our president Nick Maikousis had said at the beginning of the competition's shutdown that he didn't think the competition would return.
But according to Michael Lynch, alongside Hume and Gully, it's our club and Eastern Lions who make up the group of four clubs looking and/pushing for a resumption in play. Though there's some soccer-forum conjecture about Lions are actually in favour of resuming.
Football Victoria, which has been sending out intermittent updates on the situation via email, has a hopeful target of early July for the resumption of NPL senior football. From my isolated locale, I can't tell what's likely to happen.
Do the fans really want play to resume so badly that they're willing to put up with not being able to go to games? Are the players keen enough to come back even though it would mean having to put up with extremely stringent safety procedures on match days and at training? Is there even genuine scope for a return while the corona virus is still active within the community? What's the point of resuming if the whole thing can probably get shutdown with just one case if the virus in a player or official?
As usual, I've got a lot of questions and no answers.
Lakeside to receive funds for renovation
In other COVID-19 related news, the state government is planning to upgrade a wide variety of sporting facilities, as part of a pandemic economic recovery plan. According to this article in The Age, that includes renovation of Lakeside Stadium, whatever that means.
Program-wise I've added the "possibly incomplete" Canberra City away 1980, the "I recently bought a copy off eBay" Sydney Olympic away 2004, and the "I was tardy in scanning it" Green Gully away 2019 to the collection. You know where to find these by now.