AFTER a long winter or attempting to go back-to-back after last season's drought-breaking premiership win, Leeton United will have to wait until 2022 to have another crack at the Pascoe Cup.
Once lockdown ended for some areas in regional NSW, Football Wagga got together to discuss the ramifications for community sport, which is currently unable to go ahead under public health orders still in place.
With mid-November looking like the earliest possible time for community sport to make a return, Football Wagga decided this was to late in the year to resume its competitions. Matches haven't been held since early August prior to lockdown measures being introduced for regional NSW.
Leeton United coach Frank Alampi said he understood the reasoning behind the decision and why it had to be made, but he did say there were still many "what ifs" and "what could have been" floating around for players and coaches across the board.
"We had just made a few changes to our game prior to lockdown, so we were looking forward to seeing how that impacted on our game, we were excited about it," he said.
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"They were just a couple of little tweaks and I think it would have really helped us coming into the back end of the season.
"Traditionally, the second half of the season is where we play our best football.
"It's a bit deflating, but it's just the way it is. We thought we had a really good chance again to challenge again for the premiership.
"Even though we lost basically half a first grade side from last year, we were showing a lot of resilience. I think if we had everyone on the park, we definitely would have been a contender again."
With the season unfinished in 2021, Alampi was hopeful it may still allow the fire to burn for many players who had been thinking this year might be their last.
For himself as coach, Alampi said "never say never" when it came to leading first grade again next year.
"I'll be honest, I did say this year was going to be my last one as coach of first grade, I wanted to see if we could push to go back-to-back," he said.
"Now though there is a bit of a seed germinating there again for me to come back as coach again next year. I do feel like there is unfinished business for me there and same for a lot of the boys too.
"It's a decision I haven't made yet and it's one I do have to make after talking to the club as well."
Leeton United will now regroup ahead of making decisions for the 2022 season and what it will look like.
Anyone interested in playing next season, both men and women, should contact the club or visit its Facebook page for more information.
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