The AFL wishes to advise of an update regarding Week 8 of the NAB League Boys Season following the announcement from the Victorian State Government relating to changes to the Circuit Breaker Lockdown restrictions for Regional Victoria and Metropolitan Melbourne.
Following the Victorian State Government announcement, community football is open for all age groups this weekend in Regional Victoria with only training allowed in Metropolitan Melbourne.
Four NAB League matches will occur this weekend in Regional Victoria and New South Wales with coordinated training sessions for all players based in Metropolitan Melbourne ahead of an anticipated return to competition next week.
The Sydney Swans Academy will host Tasmania Devils at Blacktown Sports Oval on Saturday June 12 at 9.30am ahead of the GWS Giants facing Northern Territory at 3.15pm at the same venue. In Victoria on Saturday, the Geelong Falcons and Bendigo Pioneers will kick-off a double-header at MARS Stadium at 11.30am before GWV Rebels host Gippsland Power at 2.30pm.
19-year-olds are permitted to play in NAB League matches this weekend.
The AFL will continue to work with the Victorian State Government and Health Officials to make sure training and matches adhere to all health protocols and ensuring the health and safety of the community is paramount.
All NAB League players will continue to be supported by their Coaches and NAB League region staff with integrated training programs that assist their football and physical development. In Metropolitan Melbourne, these programs will include a variety of exercises and drills that can be performed during this lockdown period to ensure the risks of injury are minimised on their return to play. Training sessions will be held across Metropolitan Melbourne so players can remain within the travel limits.
All training is devised to comply with Government health and safety guidelines.
Players from the Murray Bushrangers will participate in club training sessions with the AFL supporting all players in playing matches for their local clubs this weekend.
The Pioneers v Falcons game will be streamed live across the News Corp channels with all three remaining matches streamed live on the NAB League App.
With venue capacity limits set in Victoria the double-header at MARS Stadium will be restricted to players, coaches, officials, parents and AFL club recruiters.
The fixture for the NAB League Boys competitions will become a week-by-week proposition for the short-term and the AFL will continue to work with the Victorian Government and Health Officials on finding solutions to play all fixtured matches. The AFL is committed to working through the rounds plus finals to complete the season ahead of the 2021 NAB AFL Draft.
The AFL has prepared for this situation and there is flexibility with the fixture to aim to deliver 15 weeks of football for all boys.
The AFL will continue to meet with all parties and review this decision based on the changing circumstances and advice from government and relevant health departments and medical experts. We will communicate any updates and provide advice in a timely manner.
We acknowledge this remains a complicated and rapidly evolving situation but as a football industry we will band together to support each other. The development of all players in the NAB League remains the priority for the talent pathway program and the AFL will continue to support all players with on and off field improvement.
The AFL would like to acknowledge the support of all players and their families and the NAB League supporters for their patience during this time.
Saturday 12th June, 2021 (all times local)
Sydney Swans v Tasmania, BISP, 9.30am
GWS Giants v Northern Territory, BISP, 3.15pm
Geelong Falcons v Bendigo Pioneers, MARS Stadium, Ballarat, 11.30am
GWV Rebels v Gippsland Power, MARS Stadium, Ballarat, 2.30pm