Dear Victorian Clubs, Off the back of a further lockdown extension for Metropolitan Melbourne, I wanted to reach out to our football community, at a time we know is challenging for so many. The initial thoughts of our metro football and Futsal community following these announcements should - rightly - not be football. They should be of family, friends, of maintaining connection, of work and mental health. However, we know that football is more than just a game. It provides purpose, social connection, health and wellbeing. It unites communities and strengthens relationships and family ties. We know that its absence breaks routines and hits hard. Victorians developed a resilience in 2020 that the rest of Australia cannot comprehend; though many states are now fighting their own significant battles against the pandemic. Regardless of this, we know these lockdowns hurt; and affect everyone differently. For those in Regional Victoria, we’re so, so pleased you are carrying the torch for football and Futsal in our state. As hard as it is for metro participants to miss matches, it is heartening to see the vision from Regional Victoria of a more COVID-normal way of life. Your excitement is infectious and seeing you living and loving football uplifts us all. Please keep sharing your magic moments each week. The team at Football Victoria shares the disappointment seeing metro pitches left vacant for additional weeks. The Delta variant has proven to be a significant adversary for the Department of Health and we stand by their decision to prioritise the health of Victorians above all else. For those in metro Melbourne, we encourage you to keep up your training and love of football at home. There are great assets available on playfootball.com.au to help you do so. We understand that you will rightly have questions about what these extended lockdowns mean for your seasons. Our competitions team have produced an incredible body of work, planning in anticipation of Government announcements with countless scenarios developed, all constantly evolving. We’re taking a holistic approach with all decisions - taking into account the ongoing stress on Clubs and their volunteers, the uncertainty of future announcements and safety. This is always balanced with our guiding principle - providing as many opportunities for our community to play, when it is safe to do so. When the lockdown ends, we’ll be ready to assist Clubs to get back out playing as quickly as possible, as much as possible. We will be vigilant in working with government, councils and our clubs to provide a COVID safe and compliant environment for any of our activities. Further detail will be shared on these arrangements as we approach September 3, the current lockdown end date. These plans include exploring alternative competition options as well as the possibility of a season extension, double-header weekends and for some competitions, mid-week matches. For those in Regional Victoria - whether you are top of the ladder or bottom - enjoy every single minute on the pitch. Please follow all directives within the RTP Conditions - following these conditions is vital to ensure football can continue to be played in regional areas. Let’s all do our part to ensure we can get back to doing what we all love, right across the state, as soon as possible. Stay safe, check in on each other and we’ll get through this together.
Sincerely yours in football,
Kimon Taliadoros CEO, Football Victoria