COVID-19: Gympie United hopeful of July football revival
FOOTBALL: “July” is the magic word for Gympie’s football lovers as league officials get the ball rolling on plans to resume the 2020 season following coronavirus interruptions.
Sunshine Coast Football Association chairman Chris Dunk said this week he was hopeful of a July return, a time frame with the full support of new Gympie United president Troy Johnson.
Johnson said the Gladiators were hopeful a return to the pitch might even come sooner than that if the go-ahead was given for another pre-season.
“At the moment the story from the Sunny Coast is that we’re looking at starting at the start of June for pre-season hopefully, and then we’ll kick off Round 3 on the 3rd and 4th of July,” he said.
“We’ll play a full season until about mid-November or the end of November.
“We’re still waiting on clearance from Football Queensland and Football Australia. Nothing’s set in stone, we’ve just got to wait for the go ahead.
“There’ll probably be a few restrictions, we would probably only be allowed to have a certain amount in the grandstands, there will be other rules that we’d have to abide by.
“It’s all just hearsay at the moment, we had a meeting on Monday night to throw some ballpark figures around.”
A delayed season running until cricket season late November would create problems for clubs sharing their fields, but Johnson said the Gladiators would be well-equipped to host games for the rest of the year if needed.
He said the interruption had been “a bit of a downer” for the club after a strong start to the campaign.
The Premier Men’s side under coach Kyle Nix enjoyed a 4-0 win over Coolum in Round 1 action.
“It’s put that little dampener on us I suppose, but hopefully the boys can come back with the same attitude they had at the start of the pre-season,” Johnson said.
“A lot of them are doing their own thing, doing workouts from home, kicking the ball around the backyard to keep their ball skills up, we should be right, everyone should come back fit.
“We’re keen, we’re ready, we’ve just got to wait for the OK.”
Dunk said this week the SCFA was looking at up to five new scenarios for the revamped competition.
“We realise we can’t just start playing without any form of training, but hopefully we are playing by July 1,” he said.
“Our numbers are about 5000-6000 players: the same as last year.
“But with the amount of people keen to play, it might even increase.”