Sound the siren – we’re back to play on June 26

By SANFL Media

SANFL is excited to announce that National Pharmacies SANFL Juniors – the biggest junior football competition in Australia – will start on June 26, making it one of the first community footy leagues in the nation to return to play.

The competition, which is expected to see over 11,500 junior players line up in 650 teams across the metropolitan area, will have a 12-round non-stop season with a two-week finals series ending in late September.

The season will kick off with round one matches under lights on June 26 and continue on Sunday, June 28 – the same weekend as the opening round of the 2020 SANFL Statewide Super League season.

Fixtures will be released by SANFL in mid-June.

SANFL General Manager Football Matt Duldig said the League took full advantage of the State Government Step 2 easing of COVID-19 social restrictions which will allow full competition for contact sport to resume in SA from June 25.

“We’re absolutely rapt that we will have SANFL Juniors kick off before the end of June, allowing us to schedule 12 minor rounds up until mid-September followed by finals for the 36 premiership divisions,” Mr Duldig said.

“This is a great outcome given that we weren’t even sure less than a month ago if we would have the opportunity to play football in 2020.

“Thanks to everyone in SA doing the right thing, and SA Health recognising the importance of sport for kids’ physical and mental wellbeing, we are able to get a season underway safely in line with the easing of restrictions.”

SANFL and community football in South Australia transitioned to contact training this week in groups of up to 20, with a maximum of 80 per oval, with strict hygiene protocols under State Government Step 2 easing of restrictions.

When matches commence, up to 80 players, umpires, coaches and trainers (excluding match officials) will be permitted on each oval, under strict hygiene protocols.

“We’re absolutely rapt that we will have SANFL Juniors kick off before the end of June, allowing us to schedule 12 minor rounds up until mid-September followed by finals for the 36 premiership divisions.”

Matt Dulig - SANFL General Manager Football

SANFL is working closely with SA Health and the Office of Recreation, Sport and Racing with regards to the number of parents and spectators allowed at matches, with further updates to be provided closer to the start date.

“What’s important is that we now have some certainty over the season and can get matches underway from June 26 in a manner which ensures the safety and health of our players, coaches, umpires, volunteers and the broader community,” Mr Duldig said.

“In addition to providing a physical and mentally healthy outlet for the more than 11,500 participants and umpires, SANFL Juniors also offers a great social connection for families and is part of the cultural fabric of metropolitan communities.”

National Pharmacies SANFL Juniors caters for boys and girls from under 7s through to under 16.5 years at more than 50 community clubs. Registrations are still open for the 2020 season, click below for information.