NAB League football to continue in regional Victoria - AFL
The AFL has issued a statement regarding the NAB League fixtures for this weekend:
"The AFL wishes to advise of an update regarding Week 6 of the NAB League Boys Season following the announcement from the Victorian State Government relating to changes to the Circuit Breaker Lockdown announced yesterday.
Following the announcement, this weekend's matches for Regional Victoria NAB League regions will proceed with two matches scheduled for Sunday June 6 in Ballarat and Echuca.
The GWV Rebels will host Geelong Falcons at MARS Stadium at 11.30am before the Murray Bushrangers face the Bendigo Pioneers at Victoria Park Oval at 2.30pm.
Due to the Circuit Breaker Lockdown extension for Metropolitan Melbourne, this weekend's scheduled matches for Metropolitan NAB League regions and all boys residing in Metropolitan Melbourne will not proceed.
The NAB League competition is an Under-19 competition with the majority of players aged 18 years and under allowing for matches and training to occur under the junior sport classification in regional Victoria only. The AFL is working with the Victorian Government on what this means for players aged 19 years old for matches this weekend as they are only permitted to train under revised protocols.
The AFL will continue to work with the Victorian State Government and Health Officials to make sure training and matches adhere to all health protocols and ensuring the health and safety of the community is paramount. No staff, players, umpires, coaches or administrators will be travelling from Metropolitan Melbourne to these regional matches.
All NAB League players will continue to be supported by their Coaches and NAB League region staff with integrated training programs that assist their football and physical development. These programs will include a variety of exercises and drills that can be performed during this lockdown period to ensure the risks of injury are minimised on their return to play.
All training is devised to comply with Government health and safety guidelines.
Players from Gippsland Power will return to training with the AFL supporting all players in playing matches for their local clubs this weekend.
The Rebels v Falcons game will be streamed live across the News Corp channels with the Bushrangers v Pioneers game streamed live on the NAB League App.
The fixture for the NAB League Boys competitions will become a week-by-week proposition for the short-term and the AFL will continue to work with the Victorian Government and Health Officials on finding solutions to play all fixtured matches. The AFL is committed to working through the rounds plus finals to complete the season ahead of the 2021 NAB AFL Draft.
The AFL has prepared for this situation and there is flexibility with the fixture to aim to deliver 15 weeks of football for all boys.
The AFL will continue to meet with all parties and review this decision based on the changing circumstances and advice from government and relevant health departments and medical experts. We will communicate any updates and provide advice in a timely manner.
We acknowledge this remains a complicated and rapidly evolving situation but as a football industry we will band together to support each other. This is a reminder that we are all part of a broader society with a responsibility to make sure our community remains safe.
The AFL would like to acknowledge the support of all players and their families and the NAB League supporters for their patience during this time."