After an eight-year hiatus, the Western Premier League was slated to return to the Central West in 2020 and if restrictions surrounding community-level sport continue to ease, that comeback is still very much on the cards.
Development manager for regional football Andrew Fearnley says players around the region are chomping at the bit to get back on the pitch, it's just a matter of waiting for direction from the powers that be.
"Everyone's busting to get back playing," Fearnley said.
"We're hoping in the next 48 hours to have some clarity around a return to training which will be stage one.
"Once that's determined, we'll have a clearer idea in terms of when we can start playing."
Like every coronavirus-effected competition, the topic of season schedule/structure is one that needs addressing and the WPL is no different.
In what was originally set to be a 14-round season that kicked off in April, the eight involved clubs will now have the opportunity to put forward their suggestions for an abbreviated campaign.
The way the season shapes will be affected by each side's contribution to the planning but Fearnley's already got some ideas as to how it might look when they (hopefully) kick-off in July.
"We'll be looking to start as soon as we can... we were originally planning for a home-and-away, 14-week season," he said.
"There's a couple of models we'll present to clubs once we know the time period we have to play with but we still might be able to fit that schedule in.
"We're potentially looking at some midweek games with clubs that could do it, or we'll look at a one-round competition with the eight sides."
There's been a few clubs pull out of competitions in the Central West as Lithgow Zig Zags become the first Premier League Hockey side to shut up shop for 2020, while the Manildra Rhinos pulled the pin on their Woodbridge Cup campaign three weeks ago and while Fearnley knows these are trying times, he doesn't envisage any of the eight WPL teams not going around this winter.
"I don't foresee an issue with any of the eight clubs being able to play," he said.
"It's just a matter of going through the process of when we can start.
"Once training in some form is allowed, the clubs can start confirming their players' plans for the season."
As it stands, Orange District Football Association is targeting a July return but president Tony Mileto isn't willing to push the envelope and says the competition won't return if any of the involved players/families are at risk in any way, shape or form. The National Cabinet will make its weekly announcement surrounding grass-roots sports on Friday.
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