FOOTY IS BACK: The South Burnett Saints men's team for 2020. Photo: Laura Blackmore
FOOTY IS BACK: The South Burnett Saints men's team for 2020. Photo: Laura Blackmore

Darling Downs AFL releases proposed start date

SOUTH Burnett Aussie rules players could be back on the oval as soon as July 11, as outlined in a plan by Darling Downs AFL.

The competition would be made up of a nine-round home and away fixture.

Four home and four away games would be followed by one round of semi-finals, one round of preliminary finals and a grand final to be played on September 27.

According to the State Government’s three-phase back to sport plan, group or organised training will remain on hold until June 12.

South Burnett Saints coach Andrew Foley said it had been up to individual players to keep fit during the past two months.

“The club has set a 1000km challenge for the month of May and it is up to each player to make sure they are ready to go when footy returns,” Foley said.

“It is looking very likely that footy will return so it’s important for our players to continue training, otherwise we will fall behind.

“With a shortened season proposed, the Saints need to hit the ground running from round one if they want to be competitive.”

By June 12, the training group size will be extended to 20, however will still be non-contact.

Foley said on top of the individual running, players would get into pairs to work on skills.

“Now that the restrictions are begging to ease, players can get into pairs to work on ball skills,” Foley said.

“A shortened season means it’s anyone’s game and one loss could ruin your chances of finals right from the start.

“If our playing group can commit to training and be prepared to travel, the Saints have just as good a chance as anyone.”

The Saints will have a pre-season camp in Fernvale at the end of June to prepare for a July 11 competition start date.