Yass Redbacks readying for extended COVID-19 delays

The Yass Redbacks have been in a scramble following last week's announcement from the FFA that all community soccer was postponed until April 14.

Booted: The Redbacks will look to use older gear if the season gets underway later than normal this year. Photo: Supplied.

Booted: The Redbacks will look to use older gear if the season gets underway later than normal this year. Photo: Supplied.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the FFA and Capital Football declared no matches or training were to take place until next month, pending updates on the situation.

This, said Redbacks club secretary Ingrid Davis, may have been an optimistic outlook on the part of Australian soccer.

"April 14 is quite a strange date because everyone else, Netball NSW and the [local] AFL went out until May," Davis said.

"Because it was affecting W-League and A-League, they were hoping for the best."

The Redbacks, on the other hand, have decided to prepare for a worst case scenario.

Shortly after the announcement from the FFA, the club called an emergency meeting to discuss the $10,000 order it had been preparing to place for junior equipment.

"We decided to hold that order and put in place a number of contingency plans depending on how things play out," Davis said.

These contingency plans primarily consist of utilising old equipment the club has in storage or asking members to re-use gear where possible.

The Redbacks have also offered their local sponsors the option of pulling out of their 2020 contracts with the club. This, Davis said, is due to the added strain the coronavirus is putting on local stores and business owners.

"We've reached out to them to offer them some options because we didn't think it was right to be asking them for community support," she said.

"We're just giving them the option moving forward. If the season goes ahead, we have our contingency plans we'll put into play."

Capital Football CEO Phil Brown acknowledged the delay would be "frustrating" to many, but implored the local soccer community to continue being kind to one another.

"The escalation of the COVID-19 situation has presented significant challenges to our society. With so many in our community connected to football, for us, it is widely felt," Brown said.

"Unfortunately, the fear of the unknown has in some cases brought out the worst in us. What we need at this very challenging time, more than ever before, is to be compassionate and caring to those around us, especially to those most vulnerable."

The decision, he said, was made to protect the health of the players and wider community.

"We believe that this precautionary measure will help as we all seek to reduce the risk of the virus spreading," he said.

"By taking this decision, we as a football community show our care and compassion for those most vulnerable among us. The decision to not play football will reduce the chance of the virus spreading to those who it will impact most."