Participants push for football return

Will Goode is one of the many Tumut Eagles looking forward to getting back on the paddock.

The result of Football Wagga Wagga’s survey for a proposed commencement of the 2020 season has seen an overwhelming amount of support to play as long as possible.

The survey was given to all clubs, which was then passed onto players and parents, who were encouraged to answer 10 questions that would essentially guide FWW towards a 2020 competition structure.

Of the nearly 600 responses to the survey, almost 90% of senior men and women participants wanted a competition that started and ended later than usual.

Additionally, nearly 80% of participants were happy to play away from home, especially if it was two teams from the same town, with referee or ground availability a key concern to any potential draw.

Season structure was also surveyed, with six options put forward to participants, and four out of every 10 who answered, were in favour of playing a regular season with as many games as possible, followed by a final series.

In one of the more interesting responses, almost 90% of FWW participants favoured a season going into October, or even November.

This delayed finish to the season would lead to ground availability issues and a potential conflict with cricket competitions.

This issue wouldn’t be cut and dry either, when considering FWW has teams competing from eight different local government areas.

Eagles winger Will Goode admitted a change in location because of ground availability wouldn’t be the best outcome, but admitted it might have to happen for the future of football this season.

“Well it wouldn’t be ideal but if it was our only option, then that would be okay I guess,” Goode said.

Goode didn’t have an issue with an extended season either, and highlighted that the Eagles were just keen to get back on the paddock and playing some football.

“I think we are all really keen to get back to playing as soon as possible and playing close to a full season, “ Goode said.

“So if it were to go into October and November, I think we would be okay with that.”

FWW Operations Manager David Merlino was pleased to see the survey well supported and said that there was one clear messaged received.

“What we are seeing is that everyone wants things back to normal, obviously they are wanting to pursue the game they love and get as much out of the weekend and any proposed season as they can,” Merlino said.

“We know this season won’t be normal by any means, but it is very encouraging to see people wanting to play the sport and are willing to play at different times of the year to see that happen.”