Hume League heavyweight Osborne will play in the Riverina League this season.
The AFL Riverina board gave Osborne's move the green light at a meeting on Tuesday night, and it is a decision which the Griffith Swans president Jeff Harris is a little unsure about.
"We didn't see the point in it," Harris said.
"We didn't see the benefit of them coming in for a one year deal.
"A longer-term prospect might have had more merit for us, but it is what it is."
AFL Riverina chairman Michael Irons said the board supported the view of the majority of Riverina League clubs.
"After considering club feedback and that the majority of clubs were in favour of Osborne joining, the board approved Osborne's application to become an affiliate club member for 2020 subject to Osborne providing a list of names for their under 17.5's team," Irons said.
Osborne will remain affiliated with the Hume League and come across to the Riverina League as an affiliate for the 2020 season only.
The Osborne move isn't the only issue to cross the Swans desk this week with the latest NSW Public Health Order potentially throwing another spanner in the works after a limit of 500 people was placed on venues.
"It certainly wasn't what we were expecting to happen. We were of the understanding that it would be back under a square metre rule," Harris said.
So there is that, and the clubs are now required to record everyone coming through the gate and have a get in, participate and get out model for players."
"It puts a few things back on the table that we thought had been ticked off and some of those are fairly important to country footy and how it operates as well."
With the season expected to get underway on July 18, Harris feels there needs to be advice handed to clubs quickly so they can all be on the same page.
"We had gotten to the point where we were pretty comfortable where things we set up and this sort of adds an extra set of hurdles to jump," he said.
"It could create issues throughout the day if 17s and reserve graders stick around it does create a problem and then whether the 500 includes playing numbers because you have 50-odd attached to two sides and their support staff.
"There are a lot of question marks with only a couple of weeks to go."
Irons admitted AFL Riverina were caught by surprise by the inclusion of the 500-person limit.
He said AFL staff are urgently seeking clarification on the latest NSW Government advice on complying with the Public Health Order, which stipulates:
- Gatherings must not exceed a total of 500 participants, including the players, officials and volunteers, and spectators
- Organisers (presumably every club) must develop and comply with a Covid-19 Safety Plan, and have a copy of the Safety Plan available for inspection by authorised officers.
- Suggestions that participants do not stay at the venue beyond their own match, with players encouraged to 'Turn Up, Participate, Leave'
- Suggestions to allow for additional time between matches to ensure no more than 500 people on site at any time.
AFL NSW/ACT's own 'return to play framework' issued this week also stipulates the 500-person limit.
Other conditions include:
- maintaining a log of all attendees which must be maintained for 28 days following each activity (training or game day)
- ensure numbers in change rooms adhere to the four-square-metre rule per person
- ensure spectators comply with social distancing rules of 1.5m.
AFL Southern NSW regional manager Marc Geppert has told clubs that the sport and other major NSW codes have "provided some strong feedback around the inclusion of the '500-limit' in regards to outdoor sporting activities."
Geppert assured clubs they will continue to advocate for a safe and reasonable outcome in regards to restrictions, on behalf of clubs and volunteers.
AFL NSW/ACT has also issued additional recommendations which include discouraging mingling of players or spectators from different matches, and to minimise the use of change rooms.
The draw for the Riverina Football League season was released on Friday and will see the Swans start their season away from home against GGGM Lions on April 18. Their first home game will be in round three where they take on Wagga Tigers in the grand final rematch.