The SANFL has today announced it will form a Limestone Coast Football League to provide an opportunity for clubs in the South East region to play senior football in season 2020.
It follows the recent cancellation of senior competitions for the Kowree-Naracoorte-Tatiara, Mid South Eastern and Western Border football leagues.
Head of Community Football Tom Hurley said this was a great outcome for country football and the local communities in the Limestone Coast region.
He stated that the creation of the new league will provide an opportunity for at least 300 players to play football this season.
It now means that across South Australia at least 80 per cent of community football participants will return to play competition football in 14 leagues.
"While all three South East leagues had decided to cancel their individual competitions due to the significant challenges associated with COVID-19, each league also had a number of clubs who wanted to play," Mr Hurley said.
"The Limestone Coast Regional Football Council has worked collaboratively with each league to find a solution to deliver a senior competition which gives local players a chance to get back on the field."
Limestone Coast Regional Football Council chairman Trevor Smart confirmed that Mundulla, Kybybolite, Kalangadoo, East Gambier, North Gambier and South Gambier football clubs would likely play in the Limestone Coast Football League.
Any other interested South East based clubs are able to register up until July 2.
The league, which will kick off on July 18, is proposed to include seniors and reserves competitions, with premiership points and a finals series. A fixture is expected to be released by early to mid July.
The three existing leagues in the region are committed to delivering junior competitions this season and these games will be integrated into the Limestone Coast Football League match day where possible.
Mr Smart said the easing of COVID-19 restrictions, especially with regards to spectators and food and beverage, would provide clubs with greater confidence to field teams in the new league.
He said it would provide an enormous boost and sense of excitement throughout the South East region.
"The new league will give those who have missed their footy, including players, coaches, umpires and volunteers, an air of anticipation that our great game is on its way back," he said.