SANFL has received State Government approval for a return to contact football training in groups of up to 20 for SANFL and Community Football, under strict protocols commencing from Monday, June 1.
Under the Government’s COVID-19 Step 2 easing of restrictions, senior and junior football clubs will be permitted to have up to 80 players to train at the same time on an oval, in four separate groups of 20. The same applies to umpire training.
This advice from SA Health and the Office of Recreation, Sport and Racing follows Premier Steven Marshall’s announcement on Monday to bring forward SA’s easing of restrictions.
The same strict hygiene protocols as in the current SANFL Stage 2 Return to Play roadmap, with non-contact training, still apply from June 1.
Clubs are also required by the State Government to complete a COVID Safe Plan before June 1.
SANFL Chief Executive Officer Jake Parkinson said the South Australian football community had demonstrated strong leadership in the delivery of protocols to safeguard against COVID-19.
“Over the past few weeks, we’ve seen our SANFL Clubs and many community football clubs and their passionate volunteers rise to the challenge of undertaking a safe return to training under strict guidelines and protocols,” Mr Parkinson said.
“This has achieved significant trust and respect from the Marshall Government and SA Health. Our clubs should therefore feel very confident that if they follow the protocols associated with a return to contact training, that they will be providing the best possible environment for our players, coaches, support staff, umpires and wider football community.”
SANFL is recommending to all affiliated leagues and community football clubs that they delay any decisions on their 2020 season until there is further clarity on information relating to a return to competition for football in SA, including when/if spectators may return and the provision of food and beverage.
“The circumstances and restrictions surrounding COVID-19 are evolving and improving rapidly and the continued support and efforts of the entire football community will help us continue on the road back to play,” Mr Parkinson said.