AFL Victoria wishes to advise the 2020 Hard Yakka / Totally Workwear VFL season will not proceed following a meeting with all VFL clubs held today.
While the situation relating to COVID-19 remains a challenge for the entire community, the worsening health situation in the Victorian community and the decision by the Victoria State Government to enter a six-week stage three restrictions for Metropolitan Melbourne provided too great a challenge for many clubs to proceed with a season this year.
AFL Victoria will continue to meet with VFLW clubs to progress the 2020 VFLW rebel Super Series for non-AFLW listed players with the aim for it to be held in September. AFL Victoria will continue to act in line with Government and Chief Health Officer advice regarding returning to train and play in a safe environment.
AFL Head Talent and State League Competitions Tristan Salter said the difficult decision was made following close consultation with all VFL clubs and, after multiple scenarios were considered, the timings made it difficult to conduct the competition.
“All levels of the game across Victoria have been impacted by the health pandemic this year and the second wave of restrictions has made it difficult to conduct a fair and equitable season while preserving the integrity of the VFL competition,” Mr. Salter said.
“We acknowledge this is very disappointing news for the players, coaches, officials, volunteers and fans of the VFL Competition and commend every VFL club who has worked tirelessly to ensure a united approach to the outcome of the 2020 Season.”
“Following the updated restrictions announced by Victoria State Government yesterday, we explored many scenarios as to how we could still proceed with a condensed season in a non-traditional format. Ultimately it provided too great a challenge for all involved.”
AFL Victoria is currently working with all VFL clubs on how to best support all players, coaches and officials impacted by this outcome and how to support their involvement in the game in 2020. This includes exploring opportunities that may provide mature age talent with exposure prior to the 2020 NAB AFL National Draft.
“We thank all our partners for their continued support of the VFL and especially want to thank Hard Yakka and Totally Workwear and our Premier Partners Toyota and the Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation who continue to be great partners of the leagues. We have been overwhelmed by the commitment of our partners during this time, and any form of competition would not be possible without their support,” Salter said.
“The health and welfare of everyone in the VFL Competition is paramount and we will work towards ensuring that while there is no VFL season being played they can still be involved in the game.”
“It is a challenging time for the entire community and AFL Victoria will continue to act in line with Government advice to ensure it is in the best interest of all Victorians.”