When the Southern Tablelands Football Association called off all scheduled competition on Friday, it proved to be a shrewd decision as the statewide lockdown came into effect just over 24 hours later.
In a Facebook post on Friday morning, the STFA announced the cancellation of "all age groups competing in STFA Competitions, inclusive of games in Gunning, Crookwell and Marulan, as well as Cookbundoon" over the weekend, along with the Champions League finals which were scheduled to take place today.
Yesterday, NSW was plunged into a statewide lockdown which would have forced these same measures regardless. However, as the lockdown is scheduled to end at 12.01am on Sunday, August 21, it effectively ends the hopes of any football being played next weekend as well.
STFA director of football, Craig Norris, said in response to the lockdown that the association's focus would now be on finishing the regular competitions.
"I think it's going to be hard to get the Champions League final in now," Norris said.
"It might be an end-of-season thing or a pre-season thing, but it's going to be hard to get in now.
"It shouldn't hurt the regular competition too much. If we get back after next weekend, we should have four weeks left of the season, and three weeks of those are finals."
The only question that remains, Norris said, is the numerous catch-up games which were scheduled for the next two weeks and what will happen if they are cancelled.
"There's a lot of catch-up games scheduled for this weekend and next weekend to fill the gaps in from all the washouts we've had and different deferments due to COVID-19 and the like," he said.
"We're working on a plan on how to best finish the table off so we can get into semis."
The silver lining for the STFA is the Cookbundoon playing fields. As no other sporting codes use the grounds, the association is free to push finals back if necessary.
"It definitely helps that we haven't got to share facilities," Norris said.
"We just have to work in with some other codes if they're starting up as we're trying to finish, just so that it doesn't affect their season starting or our kids playing finals football."
Football NSW has not yet released a statement regarding the statewide lockdowns, but in an update about the Greater Sydney lockdowns released in late July, the organisation said it is "in regular contact with relevant government agencies, and we are all committed to keeping you informed and up to date in these rapidly changing times."
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