NEW Glencoe A Grade coach Frazer Scanlon is taking a cautious approach to the delay of the 2020 Mid South East Football League season.
After three years running around in the Western Border arena for East Gambier, Scanlon returns to the nine-team competition, but for the first time as a Murphy.
The former Mount Burr premiership-winning coach is still settling into the new environment and has not placed any pressure on his men during the unexpected break.
“Since training stopped we gave the players a couple of weeks off to refresh,” Scanlon said.
“Now most, if not all of the players have been doing some form of training by themselves and sticking to guidelines from the health department.
“It is all very basic.
“A few of the boys are running, but nothing competitive.”
The call to ease the load comes off the back of an extensive pre-season for Glencoe.
After going down in last year’s grand final, the Murphies hit the training track in November and were building momentum over the summer months.
The side also completed a six-quarter trial game against West Gambier and was scheduled to play Millicent before the ban of on-field activity.
Scanlon said the team was eager to start early, while a couple of new faces joined along the way to create a positive environment.
“When I came on board last year, I met with the leadership group soon after signing and they were really keen to do some work before Christmas,” he said.
“We started in November and built up a pretty good list over the summer break with Shem and Tully Balshaw coming in and Brad Mitchell returning.
“We were pretty excited for what was going to unfold at the start of the season.”
Carey Megaw and Darcy Hogan are other additions to the Murphies’ roster, which has impressed the coach.
Scanlon said his first impressions of the club have all been positive.
“From the club perspective, it is a really good community,” he said.
“It is a one-team town and a lot of the players live in the community and have done so for a long time.
“The culture is pretty healthy from the start and I am very pleased with what is out there.”
With a strong relationship and build up in place, Scanlon and Glencoe were ready to embark on a new chapter in 2020.
However, COVID-19 forced the pair to wait longer than expected for round one and the new coach feels for his men.
“I was more let down for the players because they put in a really good pre-season,” Scanlon said.
“They had done a power of work and all of them were looking forward to the round one match against Port MacDonnell.
“We were in a really good spot, so for the season to be pulled from beneath our feet was tough.”
With football not expected to begin until May 31 at the earliest, Scanlon is unsure how players throughout the Limestone Coast will return to the sport.
He is hopeful his team can comeback motivated, but is concerned the unprecedented situation could leave an impact on peoples commitment to large gatherings such as sporting events.
“It is hard to know because we are unsure how the coronavirus will effect peoples appetite in terms of getting back into sport,” Scanlon said.
“I can only assume the players will be raring to go no matter when we start, but on the flip side I have to consider it having the opposite effect where we are heading into the depths of winter,
people are not being as active, which might take away from motivation.
“I get the feeling if we start next week, my players will be 100pc ready to go, but until we cross that bridge, it is really hard to judge.”