Devils coach has concerns about starting season
RUGBY LEAGUE: Gympie coach Michael Buckley wonders if it will be worth starting the Sunshine Coast A-grade season with significant restrictions in place.
Devils players have been doing individual training before a likely return to group training and possible kick-off.
But Buckley has doubts about the season getting under way, particularly in the Devils’ circumstances, with an expected limit of 100 people at gatherings from July 12.
“I’ve got some big concerns about the season going ahead, with the viability of it for football clubs,” he said.
“With the running costs … you’ve got to be able to get revenue from people coming through your gates … and it makes it very hard to stay afloat.
“It’s a tough one, unless there’s some funding that comes back towards the local clubs.
“We’d love to play footy, but we’ve worked hard to get back to where we are after a lot of tough years and financially it could cripple us if we can’t get patrons through the gate.”
Buckley believed the 100 people at games would be largely players and staff.
“With the (health) regulations we’d need to follow, there’s extra people you need to run the game, so that’s the other thing the club’s got to source.”
“For the short-term gain of playing a couple of rounds, I don’t know whether it’s worth it.”
Buckley also had concerns about the potential of Queensland Cup players filtering back into the local comp, after their season was cancelled.
The Sunshine Coast Falcons have had talks with the local association about their players lacing up for A-grade teams.
But Buckley said that could have ramifications.
“We have worked hard to get our numbers back up and if we bring three or four (Falcons) players into our squad, they’re going to push three or four down to reserve grade and they’re going push three or four reserve graders out.”
“I realise a lot of the younger Falcons players probably need to play and we’d take them on board but if a lot of the senior Falcons players come back … it could cost us a lot more if we lose players to the game.”
Sunshine Coast Rugby League have not yet announced plans for the season, which has been postponed due to COVID-19.