NORTH Ballarat Roosters coach Gerard FitzGerald has called for a league review into stricter match-day schedules.
Both the Roosters and Werribee were delayed in taking to the field for final pre-match warm-ups for their Victorian Football League match after a prolonged curtain-raiser match for the Tigers’ development team.
VFL team managers from each club called on umpires to intervene and allow players more time to finish warming up before a short Anzac Day commemoration.
FitzGerald said it should not have got to that point – the league must reconsider tightening match-day timelines, especially when marking special occasions.
Rules on ground access and curtain-raiser timing are strict in the AFL, and the Roosters will be under such conditions in three weeks time for a clash with Northern Blues at Etihad Stadium. Ballarat Football League reserves matches play set 24-minute quarters that can be adjusted.
AFL Victoria development league matches play with time-on.
FitzGerald said there had been no clear outline on times when teams could use the playing arena to warm up.
“It does make it difficult, particularly when you want to pay due reverence to the Anzacs, and it was a good ceremony,” FitzGerald said.
“We need to know, for warm-up purposes, when we can have access to the ground, because that will affect when we have team meetings and line meetings.
"We can work our meetings around warm-ups, but when you don’t know that time, it can make planning properly really hard.”
He said players must warm up properly to avoid injury.
Conditions were wet with steady rain for the start of the VFL match.
The opening bounce was scheduled for 2pm but the umpires, at team managers’ request, started the Anzac ceremony at 2pm.