AFL Victoria was informed today that VFL club Casey Demons have withdrawn its participation in the 2020 Hard Yakka / Totally Workwear VFL Season.
Casey Demons joined seven VFL clubs in a revised seven-round season to commence on Saturday August 1, however, following advice from their club medical experts relating to the risk of transmission in their area, they decided it was the safest option not to participate in 2020.
Box Hill, Coburg, Frankston, Port Melbourne, Sandringham, Werribee and Williamstown will return to full-contact training from Monday 13 July with round one to commence on Saturday 1 August with Coburg and Sandringham.
“The health and safety of everyone involved in the VFL Competition and the wider community remains paramount and we will continue to be led by the State Government and relevant medical officials,” AFL Head of Talent Pathways and State League Competitions Tristan Salter said.
“We acknowledge and understand the difficult decision Casey Demons have taken today and we will continue to help and support all VFL clubs as we prepare for a VFL season that prioritises the safety of everyone involved.”
“The VFL Competition will look different in 2020, while the COVID-19 pandemic presents formidable challenges, we hope to start and finish the 2020 VFL season in a safe and responsible manner based on strict protocols.”
“The VFL return-to-competition protocols were developed in consultation with the Victorian Government and Health Authorities and we will continue to work closely with them to ensure all clubs return to play in a safe and well managed environment.”
Melbourne’s GM of Football, Josh Mahoney, said he was disappointed for all participants.
“The VFL and the other seven clubs have worked diligently and collaboratively in supporting each other throughout this process. We’d like to thank them for their support,” Mahoney said.
“We are disappointed for our players, coaches and staff. They were excited to begin training and the possibility of getting a season underway, but they fully respect the club’s decision.”
The Casey Demons will be nominating VFLW players to participate in the VFLW Rebel Super Series commencing in September.
AFL Victoria will continue to review all arrangements in consultation with players, clubs and Victorian State Government and respective Health Officers.
AFL Victoria will provide a further update in the coming days on the revised fixture, season details and broadcast arrangements.