Back to training

Jackson Lavell-LeeBusselton Dunsborough Times
Busselton's Jed Kemp won best on ground in a losing derby last year when he kicked seven goals.
Camera IconBusselton's Jed Kemp won best on ground in a losing derby last year when he kicked seven goals. Credit: Picture:, Jackson Lavell-Lee

The West Australian Football Commission this week gave the green light for community football teams to start training on Monday.

That’s right, footy’s back, but with certain conditions.

Teams cannot train in groups of more than 20, there is strictly no contact and footballs are the only equipment allowed.

Clubs must close access to changerooms and maintain 1.5m social distancing at all times, a hygiene protocol must be in place and coaches, presidents and the club committee must complete online COVID-19 infection control training.

Finally, clubs must also keep a register of all players in attendance at training and seek approval for training from their local government.

The City of Busselton confirmed on Wednesday that all five teams from the Busselton Magpies would be allowed to train, from Monday.

Busselton league coach Dave Lewis said his team had kept up with each other over group chats to boost morale and was ready to return to Sir Stewart Bovell Park for training.

“It’s excellent, we’re working all the logistics through which includes drawing up rosters so we know when each team can train,” he said. “Quite a lot has to happen in the background before we can take to the field bearing in mind only 20 people total can train in one group.”

The rule means the Magpies will look at staggered training times, training for only half an hour in blocks of players, and no player transfer between groups.

“We are seeking clarification from the SWFL on whether we can have two groups on one oval because we must be isolated through the entire training run. We want to strictly abide by all the requirements that’s why the rosters are so important,” Lewis said.

Games may still be several weeks away as the WAFC awaits guidance from the State Government and AFL on when contact will be allowed.

It remains to be seen whether the SWFL could financially proceed without crowds but as this week would have been the Busselton Toyota Derby between Busselton and Margaret River, Lewis said he would like to play the opening round against their arch rivals.

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