Cowra Magpies president Marc McLeish says club doesn't want responsibility of policing social distancing

IMPORTANT TO WAIT: Cowra players celebrate making the 2018 Group 10 grand final, the club says it's important not to jump the gun and agree to a season in 2020. Photo: PETE GUTHRIE.
IMPORTANT TO WAIT: Cowra players celebrate making the 2018 Group 10 grand final, the club says it's important not to jump the gun and agree to a season in 2020. Photo: PETE GUTHRIE.

Cowra Magpies president Marc McLeish has warned of the potential ripple effects of committing to a 2020 season, adding the club was not comfortable with the responsibility of policing of social distancing restrictions on game day.

"We are point blank refusing to be responsible for social distancing," he said.

"It was brought up at another meeting and we wholeheartedly agreed that if it takes us any more than putting hand sanitiser on our counter, we don't want that responsibility."

He said while the team is keen to play, "there is still a lot of thinking to do".

"Even though restrictions are starting to lift, we still are unsure as to whether seasons will be viable or not.

"It's a case of having a look at what's going on, what format is going to be proposed and whether the benefits out way the risks."

The 2020 Group 10 season is like many others across the state and scheduled to start on the weekend of July 18.

At a recent league-wide meeting, the clubs and Group 10 management agreed on a one, full round regular season and a two-week finals series pitting the top four against each other in a sudden-death format.

I think the devil's advocate is a very necessary thing in this situation.

Cowra president Marc McLeish

McLeish, though, says that July 18 date isn't a starting guideline, rather a deadline.

"The way I understood it is that if it's not up and running by July 18 then it's not viable," he said.

"There's a lot of factors involved after that point if a competition longer than eight weeks or around that eight week period, would be considered enough to make it worth while."

McLeish said it was important to weight up whether playing was viable for players in all four senior grades, club sponsors and supporters.

"There are other parties involved, council, state government, talk about football itself is premature," he said.

"We'll be taking it responsibly and having the overall state of the town and future of the town in our thought process, as well as our long term future."

McLeish said his attitude may sound negative but that was needed given the current situation.

"I think the devil's advocate is a very necessary thing in this situation," he said.

"It's not a case of us looking at the best possible scenario and saying 'lets chase it', this is one where we really need to assess the negatives very seriously.

"Because if this gets up and doesn't work for us, it could have ripple effects into oncoming seasons."