COVID-19 update: Wednesday 25 August 2021
AFL North Coast and clubs are still planning for the lockdown in regional NSW to be lifted to enable the Senior Semi Finals to be played this Saturday (28 August) and Junior Grand Finals on Sunday (29 August). If this occurs, the schedule for each day will be as previously planned (see here).
To ensure that we all have clarity on the way forward, clubs and the League met again last night to ensure plans are in place in case the lockdown isn’t lifted. In this eventuality, agreement was reached that the weekend of 11 and 12 September would be the latest that Grand Finals of both Junior and Senior competitions would be pushed back.
From a Senior Competition perspective, if we’re unable to re-start this coming Saturday (28 August) there will be insufficient weekends to stage a full Finals Series and finish by 11/12 September. If the lockdown extends for a further week and the competition doesn’t resume until Saturday 4 September the competition will go straight to Preliminary Finals:
- Under 17 and Reserve Grade – Preliminary Finalists have already been determined based on results from the Semis played on Saturday 14 August.
- Seniors and Women’s – the Semi Finals would be abandoned, the team that finished fourth on the ladder at the end of the season would drop out, the teams that finished in second and third would play the Preliminary Final, and the team that finished first on the ladder would go straight through to the Grand Final.
The above approach would be a hugely disappointing way for the Port Macquarie Magpies Seniors and Women’s teams to finish their season, but there is no alternative. The Magpies were involved in the discussion around this issue and are fully understanding of the need to move forward in this way. Hopefully we get to play this Saturday and the Magpies remain in control of their own destiny.
Credit to the representatives of each Junior and Senior club for the productive way that all are working together and for the proactive leadership they’re demonstrating in keeping the season alive.