Across The Waves Luke Vincent and United Park Eagles Sam Porch battle for possession at Martens Oval.
Across The Waves Luke Vincent and United Park Eagles Sam Porch battle for possession at Martens Oval.

Football Bundaberg plans path of return

FOOTBALL: If Football Bundaberg gets its planning right, it hopes the sport will be back in July and catering to all clubs in the region.

The NewsMail has been given information on how FB aims to return to playing and adhering to the restrictions set in place under stage two and stage three set by the State Government following the easing of other restrictions due to the coronavirus pandemic.

All FB age groups minus Miniroos will be back on July 10, with the Roos to return the following week on July 18.

“The eight clubs in Bundaberg made the decision on Monday night, May 25, that due to the high level of restrictions in stage two all Bundaberg clubs have agreed that it is simply impractical to comply with all the measures to make Miniroos training feasible until the state enters stage three on July 10,” a statement from the eight clubs in the region said.

The others will return and FB is planning on doing it on different dates.

The under-16 age group will play on Tuesday and third-division men will play on Wednesday. Thursday will be left for the Wide Bay Buccaneers in case they can play in the Nationals Premier League junior competitions.

Saturday will see Division 1/ Wide Bay Premier League and Division 2 for men play in the afternoon and night.

The under-14 and under-12 age groups will be held on Saturday or Sunday mornings.

The women’s Divisions 1 and 2 competitions will be held on Friday night.

FB president Femia Eizema stressed that this wasn’t finalised and more consultation was needed.

“Ash (Bratton, from Football Queensland Wide Bay) is trying to do the draw,” she said.

“This is all in consultation right now.

“Trying to fit it all in has been a challenge, hopefully ­restrictions for numbers are lifted further.”

Eizema said there was doubt over whether the Wide Bay League would start again, so if it fell through the six Bundaberg teams would likely form a Division 1 competition.

Martens Oval can only host two games at one time under the restrictions of no more than 100 people at a venue from July 10, with no crowds and the canteen unlikely to be open.

Players will be asked to leave within 30 minutes of a game ending so the next game can start.

But with the amount of teams in the women’s seniors and men’s seniors, not all games can be hosted at Martens Oval. So some games may be held at the Bingera Ground, Brothers Sports Complex and The Waves Sports Complex to get fixtures done.

The Miniroos will be doing that when they return on July 18.

“They (Miniroos) are not all going to fit on Martens Oval on one day, so home games for some of the Miniroos,” Eizema said.

“We’re discussing it at the moment (with other grounds hosting).”

Eizema said clubs that couldn’t train at their venue could train at Martens Oval while waiting for their facilities to reopen.

The Waves can’t train at the The Waves Sports Ground with SC Corinthians in the same positions as they share their facilities with other sports.

Eizema said the focus would be to help them out so all sides could train equally before the season start.

“We feel we might have to help out the clubs, ones that can’t train,” she said.

“It (Martens Oval) would be available for Waves and Corinthians.

“Offer the clubs that have got no facility to train a place to train.”

Eizema doesn’t know what the cost to return will be but she wants the sport to return.

FB has applied for the State Government grant and will also apply for the council grant when it becomes available.

Eizema added that the season restart relied on the clubs agreeing to play.

Enough disinterest from the clubs could potentially stop the season from going ahead.

There will be more meetings on Monday to discuss the season.

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