WIMMERA football players and spectators have been put on notice ahead of the region’s grand finals.
Horsham District Football Netball League will host its grand final in the city on Saturday, while Wimmera Football League and Wimmera Netball Association will play their grand final matches at Dimboola next week.
Horsham Sergeant Mick Salter has warned people that alcohol over-consumption and irresponsible behaviour would not be tolerated at the games.
“Horsham Rural City bylaws prohibit alcohol from being brought into the football grounds on days when sporting events are on,” he said.
“The message to people is don’t even try to bring it in – if people try, they will be refused entry, even if they have already paid.
“If people are found inside the ground with alcohol they have brought in, they will be ejected from the venue.
“It’s not worth it.”
Sergeant Salter said the clubs running the bars at the football grounds were well aware of the expectations of selling alcohol.
“I am confident they will run those points of sales in the right way,” he said.
“They have been given fairly strict instructions regarding not serving alcohol-affected people, or people who show unruly behaviour while waiting in line to be served.
“After someone has been refused service, if they continue to misbehave they will be evicted from the ground.”
Sergeant Salter said police would be at both grand final days, monitoring crowd behaviour and alcohol sales.
In the Horsham District league senior football, Southern Mallee Giants will take on Harrow-Balmoral on Saturday.
“It’s important to remember that there is going to be a winner and a loser,” Sergeant Salter said.
“There will be cause for celebrations for some clubs and commiserations for others, but it’s important to take it all in the right spirit.
“We understand celebrations will continue after the games, so we are warning people to be mindful of their behaviour.
“Horsham police will be out at venues after the game.
“In the Wimmera Football League, the teams in the grand final could be Warracknabeal or Minyip-Murtoa, as well as Horsham, so we will be policing those towns as well.”
Horsham Highway Patrol will be out in force following the grand final matches, breath testing drivers.
“If it any stage you have to question how many drinks you have had, then the decision is easy – don’t drive,” Sergeant Salter said.
“Bring a friend, leave your car at the ground or get a taxi – just don’t drive.”