A NUMBER of sporting grounds across the Mid-North Coast have been severely damaged by the floods which will force the start of some football competitions back until May.
Football Mid North Coast chairman Mike Parsons confirmed the community football season will now start on May 8, but the newly-formed Zone Premier League appears unlikely to run for a second-straight season.
It was due to kick-off in 2020 before the COVID-19 pandemic brought an end to that.
"With the drought, then the fires, then COVID and now the floods, we have seen it have seen an impact on our senior numbers more so than the juniors - particularly in the south of the region," Mr Parsons said.
"As a result we're not sure we'll be able to sustain a Zone Premier League again. We're still in COVID times so with all the community angst with floods, at this stage, it's looking unlikely we will field a ZPL."
"We're still in COVID times so with all the community angst with floods, at this stage, it's looking unlikely we will field a ZPL."Mike Parsons
With the ZPL now likely to sit on the sidelines for another season, the local men's competition could be an unlikely beneficiary.
"We'll look to strengthen the local men's competition - the A and B-grade - with the potential to invite some of those aspirational clubs into those competitions," Mr Parsons said.
"We're still waiting on final numbers, but the reality is that unfortunately it's similar to last year with our senior numbers."
Mr Parsons thought it was important to give families time to breathe, re-group and then be able to enjoy community participation.
"In times like this, having that social interaction is important," he said.
The second season of the Coastal Premier League, however, is set to start on April 10 as scheduled.
"It's all systems go for the Coastal Premier League," Mr Parsons said.
"It's all systems go for the Coastal Premier League."Mike Parsons
The draw was released on March 29, but changes may see fixtures early in the season in Port Macquarie, Kempsey and Taree swapped with the return legs later in the season in Coffs Harbour.
"Their grounds are all pretty good at this stage, so we can make that work with a bit of tweaking here and there," Mr Parsons said.
The FMNC head office at Telegraph Point was also extensively damaged in the floods.
"It went under, so our staff have been working from home and will be out of action for a few months until we can assess the capabilities and the ability to restore a lot of our equipment," Mr Parsons said.
"We're in a world of hurt at the moment, but credit must go to our GM and administration staff - they're getting on with the job."
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