The first ever AFL Gippsland Women’s Grand Final has been postponed after a dispute between Bunyip and Nyora football clubs.
The grand final was scheduled to be played this Sunday, July 29, but it’s been pushed back to allow the round 12 Bunyip v Nyora game to be played a week late.
The scheduled Bunyip v Nyora clash did not go ahead last weekend due to a dispute about the game time that “could have been handled a lot better” by AFL Gippsland, according to Nyora Football Netball Club Secretary Kerryn Heylen. Kerryn said the dispute arose last Tuesday when Bunyip Football Club sent Nyora FNC an email informing them that Sunday’s game at Bunyip would be starting at 2.30pm. Nyora immediately responded to inform Bunyip that Nyora could not play at that time, due to the work commitments of several players, including three dairy farmers. When Bunyip “weren’t budging” on the time, Nyora got in touch with AFL Gippsland, expecting them to implement the rule that says games are to be played at 12pm in the event that two clubs can’t agree on an alternative game time.
But instead of AFL Gippsland handing down a decision, the two clubs were left scrambling to come to an agreement the night before the game was scheduled to go ahead. In the end, it was the two club presidents who agreed to postpone the game until the following Sunday, starting at 11:30am.
“It was a big muck up that didn’t get sorted,” Kerryn said.
“The default game time for women’s footy is 12pm, and that only changes if both teams agree. That’s the rule all clubs were told”
“In this case, there were emails going back and forth but it was obvious we were never going to agree.”
Kerryn acknowledged that AFL Gippsland was still finding its feet with regards to women’s footy, but said their handling of the situation was “a bit slack”.
“I think they’re still learning a few things, but we let them know the situation early in the week and we don’t know if they just pushed it aside or put it on the back burner. They should’ve stepped in but they just didn’t.”