Wednesday looms as D-Day for Football Wagga Wagga and Eagles

The Eagles are hoping to be back playing football at Bull Paddock by mid July but tomorrow’s meeting with Football Wagga Wagga shapes as the biggest step in that dream becoming reality.

Football Wagga Wagga will meet with each of their clubs in Zoom meetings tomorrow in an attempt to map out potential commencement dates for their 2020 competition.

Football Federation Australia have not yet detailed any specific return dates for community competitions but according to FWW Operations Manager Dave Merlino, they will be prepared for a quick-fire commencement.

“We are ready to rock ‘n’ roll, whether we play a 13 round competition, a 10 round competition or whatever eventuates, we will be ready,” Merlino said.

The FWW administrator explained how the meetings with clubs would work and touched on some of the topics that would be raised with clubs.

“Teams will have meetings on Wednesday, all of the Football Wagga board members will be engaged and each club will have members present,” Merlino said.

“It will be regulated and there are protocol in place to make sure it runs smoothly and we will discuss competition length, teams that clubs can put forward and other items on the agenda.”

FWW will be hoping they can draw on information obtained via a survey that was sent to the players of each club almost two weeks ago.

Titled, “FWW – 2020 season return,” the survey asks players and club members what club they play for, their age group, the type of season they would like to see played, location of games, fair registration costs and the possibility of midweek games.

“We just needed to be able to find out what the community and players wanted, the clubs are pushing the survey so we can have the information in our hands before best deciding what suits the majority of the competition,” Merlino said.

“Nothing against the clubs, but not all committees communicate to their participants and we wanted to get the opinion of all participants.

“Wednesday’s clubs meeting is where we will discuss the outcome of the survey and how we will proceed.”

Merlino said it would be nice if FWW could return in mid-July, similar to rugby league and netball, but he admitted any dates would be guided by government advice and player safety

“It really comes down to what the government says, at the moment we can’t return and I don’t see how other codes are committing to dates,” Merlino said.

“For us it is also a safety thing for the players, they haven’t done anything for months and they can’t just go out there and play.

“We have to make sure players don’t just jump on the field, we have to take this into consideration and have at least some pre-season and our initial plan would be to have everyone warming up, stretching up and training at home to be ready for small pre-season and then the competition.”

Eagles first-grader Ethan Kass is confident his side will be ready for a return as soon as FWW give the all clear but said that training was an important aspect to consider.

“Mid-July is a very quick turn around, we were having a good preseason training and were looking forward to our trial games, especially the Trouts verse Lumberjacks,” Kass said.

“Hopefully muscle memory will help us switch back into game mode after all this time off. Also hopefully (the) council open the fields so we can train.”

In a positive note, the Eagles look set to field three senior teams, with 30 players already committed for a shortened 2020 season.

“We are hopeful for three teams. We have around 30 senior players registered but it depends on if anyone’s situation has changed since the virus started,” Kass said.