THE first bounce for junior Australian Football stars on the South Coast is just around the corner, following Tuesday's announcement by the NSW government.
Deputy Premier John Barilaro outlined how all junior community sport, under the age of 18, can resume from July 1.
As a result, AFL South Coast's regional manager Matt Graham has unveiled the plans for their Auskick and junior competitions to start on the weekend of July 17-19 - following contact-training and match preparation phase during the July school holiday period.
"It's made possible by the terrific work of everyone in our community to follow the physical distancing and hygiene protocols associated with a return to small group training under the revised public health order.
"It demonstrates our collective commitment to returning to play in a safe and well managed environment.
"We will continue to work closely with the NSW government to provide further clarity regarding the return of senior competitions as soon as we can."
As AFLSC prepare to move towards contact-training and competition play, Graham explains they will work through a staged and planned approach with their many stakeholders.
This will include working with clubs, participants, coaches, umpires and all volunteers to ensure they return to competition play in an effective and safe manner, in adherence with the NSW public heath order and AFL return to play framework.
Next week, AFL NSW/ACT will publish return to contact training and competition play protocols inline with the RTP framework to inform and educate their competitions well in advance of the 2020 community football season commencing.
"Importantly, we need to continue to collaborate with local councils across NSW to confirm venue availability and revised access conditions now we have certainty around a season start date for our junior competitions," acting AFL NSW/ACT chief executive officer Tiffany Robertson said.
"AFL NSW/ACT is collaborating with other major winter-sporting codes and have agreed to overarching season-length principles and dates to ensure a smooth handover with summer sports; and limited impacts to future seasons.
"Over the next week, AFL NSW/ACT will wrap up our club consultation phase across our 14 community football leagues [including AFLSC] and finalise many league-specific operational decisions, including season length, fixtures, bylaws and financials.
"With a condensed season upon us, we will ensure we have strong alignment on our approach and ensure key considerations, such as school holidays, are factored into our decision-making.
"Tuesday's announcement provides much-needed certainty and confidence for our junior community football and NAB AFL Auskick network to plan and deliver a dynamic 2020 community football season with communications to participants from both the AFL and clubs upcoming."
In the coming weeks, AFLSC will continue to seek guidance around issues such as spectators and the use of canteens, as teams gradually return to modified non-contact training - following the appointment of a club COVID safety officer.