Goulburn North East Football Association will explore the possibility of staging midweek games during the upcoming season.By Damen Francis
Goulburn North East Football Association will explore the possibility of staging midweek games during the upcoming season.
A fixture has yet to be drawn up for either the local competitions or the Regional Premier League, but association secretary Luke Slater said the board would seek the views of clubs in regards to Wednesday night matches.
“Rather than making a decision ourselves we are going to look for some feedback from the clubs,” Slater said.
“On a freezing cold Wednesday night, we’re looking at whether people would come and watch the games.
“Is it better to schedule a senior men’s game as well as an RPL game to get more people there?
“Can clubs host a Wednesday night game, or is it too much work on the committees and people involved?
“These are all issues that we are keen to get some feedback on.”
Only one match was played midweek last season and that was the rescheduled round two clash between Shepparton and Shepparton United at McEwen Reserve.
It remains the only venue capable of hosting matches under lights and Slater said it would be a matter of clubs sharing that facility.
Newly installed lights at Central Park will need to be assessed to determine its suitability.
‘‘The reality is that McEwen Reserve is the primary facility in the region and that would need to be used for midweek games,’’ Slater said.
‘‘That would need to be a facility that we all utilised, there is no point having a great facility in Shepparton with one club using it.’’
Earlier this week, Cobram Victory coach Craig Carley expressed his club’s interest in playing midweek games and said he had little concern about travel and home ground advantage.
Slater said a survey, as well as information on nominating teams for the upcoming season, would be sent out to clubs ‘‘in the next few weeks’’.
The number of teams in each competition is still to be determined, but the board is considering three rounds instead of two next season, particularly to ensure the integrity of the RPL competition.
Also on the agenda at Wednesday night’s meeting, was the new international player cap, the finer details of which Slater said were among the league’s highest priorities.
‘‘We know that clubs obviously have to recruit players and we’re very aware as a board that there needs to be some clear definition and guidelines on who is a visa player and who is not,’’ he said.
‘‘There has been a couple of inquiries about that already, so whilst we haven’t come up with the final definition, we are certainly working on it and we’re aware that at the moment it’s unclear.’’
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