Central Highlands Football League secretary Diane Ryan said the decision to not allow spectators onto Mars Stadium during breaks was to ensure the day remained on its tight schedule.
There has been some noise expressing disappointment that supporters of both the winning Hepburn side and Beaufort did not have access to listen to their coaches’ address at the quarter and three-quarter-time breaks, while they were only allowed onto the ground for the senior grand final presentation.
But Ryan said it was an easy decision to make given the importance to not have start times for matches delayed and keep the day running smoothly.
“The main reason was to try and run on time,” Ryan said.
“It is very difficult to get people to get off the ground. Sometimes they just don’t hear the message.
“You’ve only got to start running a little bit over (and it throws the day’s schedule out).
“The day ran a lot smoother.
“It was an easy decision to make.
“I wasn’t really concerned about the huddles.
“There were matches scheduled for the following day too, so it’s just respectable to try and keep it in good condition.
“A lot of people did comment that the atmosphere was really fantastic.”
Both senior grand finalists were contacted by Fairfax Media, but no comment was attained.
However, there was some negative noise on social media and members of the crowd about the decision, but it should be noted that the atmosphere was outstanding and grand final day ran extremely well.
Fans of Darley and Bacchus Marsh, who will play in the Ballarat Football League grand final this weekend, will be allowed onto Mars Stadium during breaks, according to AFL Goldfields general manager Rod Ward.
Ward said while it would be allowing spectators onto the ground, he understood the extra pressure on the CHFL given its busier finals schedule.
“We don’t have the time pressures that they have,” he said.