Australian-based T&T senior women's team netballer, Samantha Wallace, says she is hoping for a full season of competition when Suncorp Super Netball League's Chief Executive Officer Chris Symington provides an update on to the clubs on the state of the season by Sunday (May 31).
Last September, the 26-year-old Toco-born Wallace captured the "Most Valuable Player" Finals award after she led New South Wales Swifts to the title over Sunshine Coast Lightning at the Brisbane Entertainment Centre in Brisbane.
Wallace ended the 2019 campaign with 648 goals from 695 attempts for the second spot behind Jamaican Jhaniele Fowler 709/753, while another Jamaican, Shimona Nelson, ended third with 637/724.
A winner of the “Player of the Year” in the English Vitality Netball Super League in 2016, Wallace, who will be competing in her fourth straight season in Australia, now has a three-year career tally of 1,580 goals from 1,739 attempts.
The 2020 season was due to pass off to an exciting start with the Swifts and Lightning meeting on May 2 in a re-match. However, due to the coronavirus (COVID-1) pandemic which took the world by storm in mid-March forcing the halt to sporting activities worldwide the start of the season was postponed.
In recent weeks, the league has advised clubs that no team training can be held but that athletes were to continue their 12 hours of individualised club training per week until Sunday.
"We fully understand the health and safety measures that had to be put in place due to the coronavirus, but at the same time most of us as players are just anxious to resume playing," said Wallace.
"We know there is great uncertainty of a starting date with some suggesting that the league commences at the end of July or August or September with the latter date being the most preferred choice.
However, Wallace said a September date will cause a few problems for clubs and players.
"There are a lot of players who will be out of contract by that time having signed one-year deals with clubs as the season normally ends around that time, so they will have to have new contract negotiations just before the season starts, and that's if they intend to remain with the same clubs."
Following the recent Federal and State Government announcements on reduced restrictions around social gatherings and sport, the league has considered the varied approaches of each state and territory as they apply to the resumption of training and playing.
With restrictions easing in each state Symington said that prospects for the 2020 season looked promising, but admitted there was still some work to do before finalising its format and timeline.
Symington said, "Our hopes of being able to complete a full 2020 season are cautiously rising, but to maintain competitive balance within the league while the finer details of the season are agreed upon, we have advised clubs and athletes to continue solo training for the next two and a half weeks.
“There are still many decisions to be made about how and when the 2020 season will take place, as well as how and when all clubs will resume formal training, and the league will be positioned to announce all of this before 31 May."
Wallace, the reigning T&T Netball Association "Player of the Year", also stated that a lot more will be revealed as well in the coming days concerning the format to be used for the season.
"As far as I know, the league is considering a few options to play out the season, and one of the options is that the clubs go into hubs, either in Sydney or Melbourne for eight weeks. But, some of the clubs are against this move as they say it will give the host cities a competitive advantage.
"So by end the of May, we should have a definite answer as to when the league will be starting, whether using the hub format or the full season."