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Central in doubt

Thursday, 31st March, 2016

Central are struggling to get numbers to field a full men’s side for this weekend’s Lightning Cup. Central are struggling to get numbers to field a full men’s side for this weekend’s Lightning Cup.

By Patrick Reincke

Preparations are underway for this weekend’s Community Credit Union Lightning Cup but there are doubts as to whether one club will be able to field a side.

Central has a number of players unavailable to play and is considering not putting up a men’s side for their three games on Saturday which has AFL Broken Hill Chairman Peter Nash worried.

“There’s been an indication that they may not have the numbers to fill a side but I think they’re still talking about that,” he said.

“From a league point of view, we’ve got four footy clubs in town and as soon as one team doesn’t participate, it creates a huge impact on all football whether it’s Lightning Cup or in the regular season; forfeits are not what we want.”

Mr Nash said the Lightning Cup was about participation and not necessarily about winning.

“It’s about rewarding those who have trained, it’s about the coaches trying different things and more importantly, it’s about acknowledging Broken Hill Credit Union are our major sponsors, they sponsor the Lightning Cup and to not participate would be a very poor look.”

An overwhelming number of Central seniors will be unavailable for the pre-season tournament with many out of town and working.

Central Vice President Glenn Williams said that although numbers are down, the executive group wants to have a side playing.

“We understand the coaches’ opinions and reasons for not putting up a side,” he said.

“But we are instructing them to get a team up for it.

“We are struggling with numbers due to functions and players working so we urge players who are available to put their hand up.

“It’ll give you a good chance to get a feel for the game again and experience some real matchplay before round one arrives.

“As far as the Central executive is concerned, we want a side there and now it’s a matter of discussing that with the coaches.”

Mr Nash said that South, North and West are all “ramping up” for the Cup with men’s and women’s teams all set to play.

Central have been the only club to give notice about forfeiting games in the men’s competition.

Should Central not sport a side, Mr Nash said it will benefit nobody.

“We are very hopeful that the decision they’ve made can be overturned,” Mr Nash said.

“We are trying to appoint umpires, we’ve got people running the bar, it means we have to rehash the draw, some people might have organised some off work to play a game but then the times change.

“It’s taken everyone a little bit by surprise at the moment, so there’s been inquires to our football operations coordinator about what’s happening.

“But at this stage, the official line is to sit tight for 24 hours and see what happens.”

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