Football season starting to sizzle in hot conditions
IT seemed too hot to be watching football.
It also felt like the start of the new round ball season is getting earlier each year.
But as Western Spirit's Reserve grade men's team tackled The Gap at Goodna last Saturday afternoon, it didn't take long to click back into competition mode.
The football season is here.
Regional teams like Western Spirit and Ipswich City toiled manfully in Saturday afternoon's heat before a cooler breeze arrived for the evening matches.
Western Pride also hosted the girls and women's state selection carnival at the Briggs Road Sporting Complex on an uncomfortable day for playing sport.
The tents that sprung up at the Briggs Road Sporting Complex and next door near hockey's grass fields were clearly needed.
February and March is traditionally the time for summer sports to contest their finals.
That is about to happen in cricket, baseball, vigoro and softball.
Major athletics competitions are also on at this time of the year, making it a busy period of the year.
However, having football so early in the year provides an added test for the players and referees, when conditions like Saturday's heat prevail.
Having teams conceding a glut of goals in the second half is as much to do with the heat as lack of effort.
In weather more suitable for sipping a cold beer in an air-conditioned tavern, it was concerning to see players running around in 30 plus degree heat and stinging humidity on Saturday.
At least regular drinks breaks were scheduled.
The fitness work done in the pre-season was telling, with those having too much Christmas cheer being found wanting.
Thankfully, the players feeling the heat last Saturday can look forward to some cooler winter months ahead.
And that's when it will really feel like the football season is here.