Lambton Jaffas coach Shane Pryce has called on Northern NSW Football to lead the way in getting postponed NPL games played after another frustrating washout.
The Jaffas, the defending premiers, sit fourth on the NNSW NPL ladder with 17 points but have played just eight games leading into their round 16 bye. They still have five catch-up games in hand after their match with Valentine on Wednesday night at CB Complex was washed out again.
Pryce said Jaffas offered to host the game at Edden Oval but they were turned down. It leaves Jaffas with 12 games to play between now and August 21. Valentine have 11.
Pryce said he understood clubs were worried about lost revenue and the cost of hiring other venues but he believed it was time for NNSWF to take a lead role in finding alternative grounds, directing games to be played and helping fund moves.
"I hear that Northern say they want to give clubs the opportunity to have their home games, and that's great," Pryce said.
"Clubs say they want games because of gate revenue and canteen. I get all that, but we're beyond that now. And clubs don't survive on a midweek gate and canteen."
He said player welfare and maintaining a level playing field were prime concerns.
"My fear is that if we have another two or three games called off, what's the answer then?" Pryce said. "I don't like the idea of extending the comp again. People have lives and we've had plenty of time to address this.
"We've got local guys who work as tradesmen, and that schedule coming up that we've got to compete with, a professional A-League outfit would struggle to do that.
"It's got to this stage because Northern have left it up to clubs.
"You are playing in a competition where everyone has a fair and reasonable chance of winning a premiership and a grand final. But with local guys, who aren't professional, you are going to be behind. It will soon turn into not a level playing field."
"I know we've got the cup and with this rain, we've never had these circumstances before, but in any organisation, if you are not on the front foot, if you haven't got back-up plans or alternatives, then you are going to be at the mercy of being reactive all the time, and not being in front of the game."
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