Date set for Crocs return

AFL

Karlie Brady

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AFL Cairns have today announced the 2020 season for the Senior, Reserves, and Women’s competitions will start on the weekend of 10 July.

In a revised season each team will play each other twice, finishing with a three-week traditional finals campaign, between the top four teams to decide a premiership winner.


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Port Douglas Crocs AFL Club President, Barry Lea, said the group, who have been training within the restriction’s guidelines for a few weeks now, can’t wait to get back on the field.

“We have been in hibernation for far too long,” he said.

“Not just players but also the spectators and volunteers too. We have been bitting at the lip to get out there.”

Mr Lea said the club was on track for the re-start but as they rely heavily on recruits from interstate to boost their numbers, they are now calling for more players to sign up.

“We had 16 players arrive from various parts of Australia before coronavirus arrived and 12 of them have now gone home and it's unlikely that they will return.

“Senior Coach, Brad Cooper, is now in the midst of a second requirement drive.

“We have about one and a half teams at the moment but would ideally love to see another 20 players join of all different levels, shapes and sizes.

“But rest assured we will have two complete teams out on the field for 2020.

“And we are still aiming to be the first club to win five consecutive flags in the history of AFL Cairns.”

Mr Lea added there was an opportunity for players from the Mossman Port Douglas Senior Sharks Rugby League Club, whose own season isn’t going ahead this year, to give AFL a go.

“We have already seen some come over and try out a new brand of football,” he said.

Like most in the region, the Crocs have felt the brunt of the COVID-19 lockdown financially.

The club is calling on the community’s help, currently running a Facebook fundraiser asking for supporters to become COVID-19 Members by donating as little as $10, which will go a long way towards keeping the club alive and strong.

Mr Lea said they were also reaching out for more potential sponsors.

“An opportunity still exists for new sponsors to get on board.

“While it has been a challenging year for everyone, involvement with the Crocs footy has been a proven successful marketing tool for local business,” he said.

The AFL Cairns fixture will be released one week before the season commences to accommodate with any updates to Governments guidelines or community crowd regulations.

Tentative finals dates are:

• Semi-Finals 17 October
• Preliminary Finals 24 October
• Grand Finals 31 October

The Crathern Medal and other league awards will still be delegated but there will be no formal awards ceremonies in 2020.

The Junior competition will also start on the weekend of 10 or 17 July, with a fixture due out one week before the start date.


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