The Challenges of the 2020 footy season

With both the Gold Coast Rugby League and QAFL seasons all but over, we thought it would be a great time to reflect on the year’s disrupted seasons. Firstly, all of us at QLD Physio Group are proud of the Surfers Paradise AFC and Mudgeeraba Redbacks with what they have produced as clubs this year. They, like all local sporting teams and organisations have undergone immense stress and pressure to put together competitive football teams in 2020; Surfers Paradise having come off a premiership in 2019, with more than a few players moving on in 2020 to Mudgeeraba having their first season in the Gold Coast A-grade competition, it has truly been a challenging year. The off season of 2019/2020 was like any other, with both squads needing to look after bruised and battered bodies, with players looking to get the most out of the time off and rehab injuries. Pre-season began like any other with both squads working hard in the summer months both on and off the field with strength and conditioning and skills work. All was going well…………and then COVID hit.

Surfers Paradise AFC players worked tremendously hard during the 16 week break. The players were given individual and squad based programs to improve fitness and skill. Working within the lockdown restrictions, players were training individually for a large part of this period, with some skills sessions being able to be performed in pairs and small groups as the season looked to kick off. As training intensified and the season began, so did the injury toll. The interrupted pre-season and preparation took its toll on the squad, with many players succumbing to soft tissue injuries. This was to be expected due to training restrictions; however injuries came to key players. Unfortunately, these injuries, combined with the NEAFL players coming back in droves to other clubs meant that the Demons did not have the season they had planned for. They were in finals contention until the last game, but regrettably fell short. The team will look to rehab all soft tissue injuries in the off-season and be back for 2021 bigger, faster, stronger.

Mudgeeraba Redbacks had a more turbulent off-season. The club had been very successful in lower grades and petitioned the Gold Coast Rugby League to have an A-grade team accepted into the Gold Coast competition in 2020. The club were notified this would be granted late in the off-season. This meant the club needed to go into recruitment over drive to prepare a team for the upcoming A-grade season. Luckily the club has some amazing staff and were able to put together a very competitive side. Unlike Surfers AFC, the Redbacks had a relatively stable season with regards to injuries, only having minor soft tissue injuries which were able to be treated week to week and keep most of the team in the field. The club reaped the rewards of a healthy squad, making the A-grade semi-finals in their first year.

We look forward to working with both squads over the off-season to help players recover and rehabilitate from this most unusual 2020 season.

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