Sport returns across the district

FOOTBALL and netball will return this weekend with the North Eastern, Northern Areas and Adelaide Plains leagues all set to return.

With all leagues missing two weeks of their fixture due to the enforced seven-day lockdown, leagues will return with revised schedules to remedy missed games and ensure a smooth lead into finals.

In the North Eastern football and netball leagues the finals will be pushed back a week, adhering to the league’s original COVID-19 management plan which was put in place at the start of the season.

Round 11 was supposed to be played on July 24 but will now be played on August 28.

The NEFL and NENA’s first and second semi-finals will be played over the same weekend, with the second semi-final taking place on September 4 and the first semi-final on September 5.

The preliminary final will be on September 11, with the grand final following a week later on September 18 at Eudunda.

This Saturday and the rest of the season will be different to the first 10 games of 2021, NEFL president Andrew Mitchell thought it was simpler moving just one of the four minor rounds remaining.

“We’ve kept rounds 12, 13 and 14 on the same dates as originally programed in case clubs had functions organised for those particular dates against certain clubs on that day, and I think it keeps it simpler, adjusting one round instead of moving all four remaining rounds forward a week.

“It’d be good if we can get through the next eight weeks without any other issues, hopefully we can all pull together as a state, do the right thing, abide by the restrictions and get through the rest of the season without any more interruptions.” president Mitchell said.

The Northern Areas football and netball leagues will still play three minor games in the lead up to finals, with round 13, 14 and 16 all still to be played, while round 15 will be omitted from the fixture.

NAFA president Justin Duffy was glad the league was back playing footy, saying the changes to the fixture worked well.

“All teams will have played each other three times now, as we lead into our grand final on September 11 as originally planned,” Duffy said.

Finals for the Northern Areas association will be condensed into a three-week period, starting with a full weekend of footy on August 28 and 29, with teams playing in the elimination and qualifying finals.

The preliminary final will then be held on September 4 and the grand final will remain on September 11 at Crystal Brook.

The Adelaide Plains football and netball leagues could see the biggest changes out of all three leagues with the last two rounds of the season, rounds 15 and 16 cancelled.

These two rounds were additional matches in the fixture, with all teams playing each other twice already, before reaching these rounds.

Round 13 will now be played this weekend, Saturday, August 7, while the split round will be condensed into one Saturday, with all teams playing round 14 on August 14.

Finals will now begin a week earlier than originally scheduled on Saturday, August 21, this will then give the league a four week finals campaign.

The first semi-final will take place on August 21, the second semi on August 28 and the preliminary final will now be on September 4.

The grand final will now be played a week earlier on Saturday, September 11 at Balaklava.