Masters season cancelled as Suns continue to hit training track

By Meg Saultry

Samaria Suns are the latest local football club to have its season pull the plug.

After AFL Masters announced it would work towards a July 25 to 26 start date for this year’s competition, the Suns were scheduled to kick off their campaign that weekend against Wodonga’s Murray Crays.

But in light of more COVID-19 cases and restrictions, coach Kyle Pugh said the club was notified on Sunday evening that AFL Masters had cancelled this year's competition.

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Pugh said although the season had fallen through, the club would continue to train in the weeks ahead.

“We’re still doing Sunday morning training which is getting good attendance,” Pugh said.

“As long as we are able to follow protocols and we’re not breaking restrictions, we’ll keep training.

“It’s an hour-long, we have a bit of a laugh and get the body moving.

“We’re still able to run around and have a kick - the guys are getting a lot out of it. It’s a mental break.”

Pugh said the group was keeping their touch with regular football drills, though no contact training had been maintained.

“We might have to elbow rather than high fives - we’re maintaining sanitising, it's not hard to do,” he said.

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With AFL Masters including both regional and metro teams, the reinforced COVID-19 restrictions proved the final blow for the competition, with Melbourne currently suffering more badly at the hands of the virus.

“It was full-steam ahead, but with restrictions and these lockdowns, it was going to be hard for the metro sides,” Pugh said.

Pugh said in an ideal world, the north-east based teams, such as Goulburn Valley Giants, Echuca-Moama United and Kerang, could hold a mini carnival later in the year if restrictions allowed.

“We’re still hopeful of playing some footy,” he said.

“The last round we had scheduled a mini carnival at the end of September.

“In an ideal environment, we could still have the mini carnival early spring.”

● For up to date information on the Samaria Suns, head to their Facebook page.

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