Spencer Gulf Football League makes return for 2020 season

A GRADE: Central Augusta's Tom Bolitho reaches for the ball.
A GRADE: Central Augusta's Tom Bolitho reaches for the ball.

With regional sport in the balance due to the coronavirus, the Spencer Gulf Football League has given the 2020 season the go ahead for July 4.

The back-flip decision comes after Premier Steven Marshall announced further easing of restrictions, which allows gatherings of up to 300 outdoors and up to 75 patrons seated indoors.

The 10 round season will consist of five clubs going head-to-head for the premiership title.

Lions and Port have joined West Augusta, Central Augusta and South Augusta to make the 2020 Spencer Gulf football season a reality.

A GRADE: South Augusta's Matt Downey has had a superb start to the season, which he continued in the Bulldog's win over premiership favourites PropRisden.

A GRADE: South Augusta's Matt Downey has had a superb start to the season, which he continued in the Bulldog's win over premiership favourites PropRisden.

Spencer Gulf Football League president Les Promnitz said despite fears of clubs losing players to Northern Areas, there were a number of factors that led to the final decision.

"When made our original decision we put in consideration for player and volunteer welfare and the lack of income that clubs would generate through their club rooms due to the restrictions," he said.

With easing of restrictions and clubs able to open up to serve meals, Mr Promnitz said there was no reason for the season not to go ahead.

"Once a number of those restrictions had changed, we had a number of players who still wanted to play football," he said.

"At the moment the maximum amount of people we can let in to our games is 500, but that includes players and volunteers that are not participating in the game.

"It is restrictive, but at least we can play footy."

Mr Promnitz said although footy was making a comeback, the community needed to comply with restrictions and was encouraged to do the right thing.

"We are going to have a lot of requirements placed upon the clubs and the league about social distancing and sanitisation," he said.

"We will not be allowing the public onto the oval at any time during matches.

"If we do not comply and the public does not comply, then they will shut us down."

South Augusta Football Club President Michael Kerin said there had been an outpouring of support received from players, volunteers and the wider community.

"We are about to start a very strange football season and it is a credit to the SANFL, SGL and the clubs that we are going to get any football at all," he said.

"Club committees are to be commended on the work and stress that COVID19 has caused them.

"I would like to thank our volunteers who have answered our call to help get through the season."

With the season set to commence in a matter of days, Mr Kerin said the club is looking to etch themselves into the history books with a fifth-straight grand final win.

"As for on-field we are setting flat out for our historic 5-peat of A Grade premierships if we are good enough.

"After an interrupted pre-season, numbers at training and especially the players attitudes have been excellent.

"James and his players are set to achieve this target for our loyal members and supporters."

Round 1

West Augusta vs. Central Augusta - July 4 at 2:25pm, Central Oval

PropRisden vs. Port - July 4, at 2:25pm, Memorial Oval

South Augusta - Bye