Warragul Dusties’ side back on the park after almost nine weeks off

Bailey Quaife takes his kick with not another player in sight when training resumed last Monday night.

Bailey Quaife takes his kick with not another player in sight when training resumed last Monday night.

For the first time since the start of the coronavirus in early March, the Western Park lights were lit up once again as the Warragul Industrials Football Club returned to sanctioned training last week.
With a 5:45pm start, players and coaches slowly made the usual trek down the training track after work, with some forgetting the end of autumn, quickly returning to their cars for a jumper.
While it has been almost nine weeks, the players immediately showed how important the return of training really is to a community sporting team. Respecting the 1.5 metre distancing rules, the players laughed, joked and chatted about the last two months.
Hand sanitizer was ready and waiting to use before and during training, while distinct entry and exit points saw the customary leap over the fence to fetch the footy stopped in its tracks.
After a few early dropped marks, which some blamed solely on the hand sanitiser, players began to work into training, the touch and feel of the footy returning to the group as the main session kicked off.
You could see the spirits lifting almost immediately, which coach Stephen Ryan touched on.
“It’s great to get out of the house, see your mates, get some fresh air and have some banter in that club atmosphere that I think everyone has missed,” Ryan said.
Ryan, who is embarking on his second year at the helm, said that while a season looks a little way away he would still like to see one go ahead, especially after a deal was struck with Cricket Victoria allowing football to finish as late as October 18.
“I think now with the cricket season extended; it allows us to get one game in against everyone. Speaking to the guys, they don’t really mind around how many games, it’s the whole aspect of getting what we can in and playing some footy this year.” Ryan said.
With the financial cost of the season still to play out, players at the club have shown their side some good faith, with most of the playing list agreeing to play for nothing if there would be a season 2020. In return, the Dusties have signed on almost every senior player for 2021.
Darren Granger, a senior player in the Dusties’ side said that it felt great to be able to get back out on the park with the boys.


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