As you may know, in the last few days Football Victoria has released a framework guiding the return to training.
After reviewing this framework, we feel that it is extremely onerous to re-commence training and implement the myriad of restrictions that have been outlined within the advice provided by Football Victoria at this time.
Whilst we would all welcome a return to normal training and competition, our primary responsibility is our duty of care to our community to ensuring that we keep all our players and their families safe during this pandemic.
Having regard to the safety of our players, coaches, volunteers and parents during this global pandemic and after reviewing the guidelines, we have come to the decision that it is in the best interests of all, that we await further lifting of restrictions before we re-commence training.
After 31st May 2020, it is expected that Victoria’s State of Emergency will be downgraded and further easing of restrictions may be announced. At that point, we will reconvene, assess the risk and provide further information at that time.
Taking the aforementioned into consideration, our decision to wait until 31st May 2020 for further information has been informed as per the following:
- The guidelines announced by Sports and Recreation Victoria (SRV) do not allow for full contact sports to resume.
- The current guidelines provided by Football Victoria based on SRV’s recommendations have modified training sessions which allow only for small groups of 10 (on half a pitch minimum) and essentially only for passing and shooting drills while practicing social distancing – no game training, heading, throw-ins, tackles allowed.
- Onerous administrative obligations have been placed on the clubs in relation to keeping full registers of attendance, deep cleaning required for both equipment and facilities.
- Unclear as to insurance coverage provided by Football Victoria to players, volunteers and club directors in relation to COVID-19
- 100% responsibility placed on clubs by both Football Victoria and Councils in relation to any COVID-19 outbreak.
- The risk on the club’s reputation regarding player safety during these uncertain times.
Although not an easy decision, we would still like feedback from our players and player’s families on their thoughts about returning to training. Shortly, we will be sending out a survey to hear your thoughts on whether you would be comfortable returning to training.
We acknowledge that sport is very important to the overall wellbeing and mental health of our players and their families. As much as we would love to return to normality, the landscape in this this global pandemic is constantly changing and it would be remiss of the club not to put the well-being of our community front and centre. We hope you appreciate and understand the cautious course of action we are taking.
This decision has been made on a whole club basis and is applicable to all Melbourne Knights FC teams, from the NPL1 Senior Men’s, Women’s, Junior’s and Mini-Roos.
In the meantime, please do not hesitate to contact the club by return email if you have any further questions or concerns.
The Melbourne Knights Football Club.