I WAS in Navua watching club football at the weekend and was left wondering as to what was happening this late in the season.
Like Navua, most districts have been rushing through their club games after the Courts Inter District Championship.
The local Red Devils finished their competition after a full round of fixtures on Saturday and Sunday but other associations, like Suva and Lautoka, are still a long way away from ending theirs with the registration deadline looming for the zonal play-offs of the Kriz Signs National Club Championship.
Just a few associations, like Ba, Nadi and Nasinu, finished their competitions before the IDC. Big districts like Lautoka and Suva are still not done yet. One wonders what these associations were doing from February up until now. This is too late in the season to be playing club games.
It is unfair especially on the players and their families. The players are only humans, not machines, and their bodies need rest as well.
For most of the season we knew there would hardly be an off-season this year with the national league to start in the first week of December. That's why it is important for districts to finish club games early and give players enough rest and to spend quality time with their families.
Poor planning by some associations means that their district teams will feel the heat when the new season starts as straight after the IDC, most district reps went into club games.
From there, it is onto the zonal play-offs and a week later, if they qualify, the club finals.
And given that most district club champions and runners-up are laced with big names, they will keep playing until late next month.
Having finished the club finals, they will head straight back into training with the district team for the new season, which means, for some district reps, there will be no rest. Overall, that means that they will end up playing for almost two seasons without break. That's not good.
Even professional players have, in most cases, a two-month break from mid-May to mid July before returning to pre-season training.
This only changes when it's world cup or euro championship year. When that happens, players who end up in the later stages of those competitions get an extended holiday.
This means some return to their clubs a week or so away from the start of their domestic meet and some once it has already started. This is to minimise player burnout.
If not handled well, we could find ourselves having a very lacklustre 2013 season.
The Fiji FA and the sponsors should be more wary of player burnout rather than the competitive edge and top-draw football by introducing a new format.
Be it Super 8 or anything, there will hardly be a football feast if the best of the best from each district are not mentally and physically prepared for what will be one of the most demanding and hectic seasons in the history of Fiji football.
Let's hope for the best.