Bendigo Bank Mortlock Shield cancelled for 2020

SHIELD: Coach Michael Curtis and captain Joe Walker of the 2019 Bendigo Bank Mortlock Shield winner Great Flinders, with Chris Miller and Phil Channon from Bendigo Bank.
SHIELD: Coach Michael Curtis and captain Joe Walker of the 2019 Bendigo Bank Mortlock Shield winner Great Flinders, with Chris Miller and Phil Channon from Bendigo Bank.

The Bendigo Bank Mortlock Shield Committee will have their eyes on 2021 as the annual football carnival will take a break for the first time outside of World War II.

The committee announced on Sunday following the advice and recommendations from SANFL, the 2020 Bendigo Bank Mortlock Shield was cancelled.

The decision marks the first time since World War II that the carnival has been put on hold.

Mortlock Shield chairperson Robyn Rowsell it did not make sense to hold the carnival in 2020 with the uncertain future around COVID-19 and with all football activities on hold currently until May 31 at the moment, it left very little time for players to prepare.

"We can't expect players to play a carnival with one week of preparation," she said.

"The health and wellbeing of our players and supporters is more important."

By extension the 2020 Norwood Cup, held the same weekend has also been cancelled while a decision on the Kinlough Cup is yet to be made.

The 2020 State Country Championships have also been cancelled.

Ms Rowsell said there was good general discussion about future elements of the carnival, including the lengths of games, whether teams should play one full game on each of the two days or a couple shorter games.

"Decisions are to be made early next year," she said.

The committee has thanked the five Eyre Peninsula leagues and the carnival's sponsors understanding and accepting the decision, and the Port Lincoln, Cummins and Tumby Bay branches of the Bendigo Bank for their continued support.

The committee will work with sponsors and leagues ahead of the 2021 Mortlock Shield carnival.