Following meetings between the VAFA and AFL on Tuesday, the Hampton Rovers Football Club can confirm the start of the 2020 season has been postponed due to the outbreak of COVID-19.
The start of the VAFA season, which was scheduled for April 4, has now been delayed until May 2, at the earliest, as a result of coronavirus.
All training has be cancelled until further notice, while the upcoming practice matches (against St Kilda City and Parkdale Vultures) have also been cancelled.
The Hampton Rovers Senior Committee met on Thursday evening (19/3) to discuss the current situation and the ramifications of the delayed season start for the club.
The club has also decided to postpone the Rovers Season Launch, scheduled for March 28 at Hotel Brighton, however we still intend to have one prior to the delayed start of the season.
The VAFA Board considered all options in response to the COVID-19 outbreak and made the decision with the health and safety of all participants the fundamental priority. The decision aligns with all senior metropolitan community competitions following a meeting today.
The VAFA Football Operations Department, in conjunction with the Football, Growth and Integrity Sub-Committee, will revise fixtures accordingly but acknowledge the situation is fluid and any decision made may change.
The club will await direction from the VAFA as to when it is safe to return to training based on forthcoming evidence surrounding COVID-19.
The VAFA is working with the AFL, AFL Victoria & all community football stakeholders to address this matter in a united manner. The metropolitan competitions will re-convene on Tuesday 14 April to review the commencement date subject to the status of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The 2020 representative football program has been cancelled to allow the June and July bye rounds to be utilised for scheduling. Details on an updated fixture and season dates will be made in due course.
The health and safety of our players, officials, and wider community remains our number one priority. We’ll continue to monitor the situation, follow advice from the VAFA, and keep our members updated.
Club President Gary Nash gave an update to the playing group on Saturday and asked any player who has travelled overseas in the past 14 days or has planned overseas travel in the next six months to advise secretary Tony Naumoff (firstname.lastname@example.org).
All junior football, including Auskick, has also been postponed – further information can be read on our junior website here.
Players are encouraged to continue to register for the 2020 season if they are yet to do so. We also thank everyone who has already become a club member for the 2020 season and encourage our community to support the club by purchasing a club membership. Sponsorship opportunities remain, as does our new business directory.
We remind everyone to limit your exposure to coronavirus by washing your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or using an alcohol-based hand sanitiser. Cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze. If you are feeling unwell, stay away from others and get yourself checked out.
If anyone has any questions or concerns, feel free to reach out to the committee, coaching panel, or contact the club.