As you may be aware, the SANFL released a RETURN TO PLAY/ ROADMAP earlier in the week. This roadmap, as approved by the State Government, gives approval for a structured return to training, under strict protocols from Monday May 18th.
The first phase for football’s return, which began this week, will be to plan, implement and communicate to players, the necessary hygiene protocols, and at the same time, enable education programs to be undertaken by relevant Club officers. The second phase, which is actually training, comes after we as a Club, have completed the necessary tasks.
Whilst this may appear to be straight forward, please be aware it is not, and comes with a number of caveats and non negotiable elements.
As an explanation to some of those caveats, below is a few of the protocols, to which we must adhere:
1. Training in groups of 10 only with no more than 3 groups on an oval at one time.
2. Strictly no contact and social distancing of 1.5 metres
3. No access to changerooms.
4. Footballs and cones only on the oval.
5. A register of participants
6. A COVID SAFE officer has provided his details to the league and completed the on-line courses.
7. Alcohol based sanitiser is to be provided for hand cleansing and all equipment must be wiped down, before and after training.
8. All players must provide and maintain their own water bottles.
Given the size of our playing group, the Club needs to look at a number of issues and determine a way forward. We are doing this with no further knowledge of when the season will actually begin, or what it will look like. We are hearing that some Clubs will not want to play at all in 2020 and other Clubs will not field all of their teams.
It is my understanding that phase 3 of the road map, which is full squad training, including contact, will not be until at least June 8th. Besides tackling, bumping and the like, this also includes pack marking and Bootsy’s hand ball games (which no-one gets). I am therefore guessing, that we will not be playing until late June or early July. Hopefully the Adelaide Football League will give a clearer picture within a week.
The senior coaches and I met earlier this week and determined that the OIFC will NOT begin training until the week of Monday 25th May. This will give us more time to plan and think about what our Club will look like in 2020. Additionally, it gives me time to discuss the situation with SACA, to ensure we are working with their staff at KRO.
I have called a committee meeting for next Tuesday, to discuss the current state of play and to determine some actions for 2020.
Besides the protocols I mentioned earlier, we are hearing that a number of other topics are being discussed, including, that the B grade may begin at 10.30/11.00, so they can finish early, allowing us to have the rooms professionally cleaned before the A grade enters. This is but one example of stories being talked about.
Given the Hotels are likely to have restricted trade for some time to come, we are unsure of how we celebrate or commiserate together, after games.
On a happier and more positive note, I have all the merchandise in my shed and would like to distribute it as soon as possible. So this Sunday, Tom Sexton and I will be at KRO to facilitate same. To abide with social distancing and other protocols, I propose the following:
- LADIES PICK UP BETWEEN 1.30 AND 2.30
- MENS PICK UP BETWEEN 2.30 AND 3.30
Obviously you can’t “hang around”, so I ask that you arrive, pick up your gear and leave.
Further to that, I believe the shorts and socks have been delivered to Sportitude on Fullarton Road. Please go and see the staff up there for your clothing, boots and all footwear needs. All OIFC players get a good discount from Tom Warhurst.
Please remember to support all of our sponsors whenever possible. Grill’d on Norwood Parade have been a tremendous sponsor, and we all have to eat, so think about getting down to support Tom McClure.
I hope to be able to provide more clarity about the upcoming season in the next few weeks, but in the meantime please be aware that we are listening to the authorities and adhering with all their instructions to provide a safe and cautious pathway for our Club.
Damian and Tom will be communicating to all, in due course, about how we will tackle training. As I indicated earlier, we will not be training until the week beginning May 25th.
If you have any questions or queries please do not hesitate to contact me on 0418812239.
As Always GO IGGIES