Avenel coach Kasey Duncan said the decision to cancel the Kyabram District League season was a “heartbreaking one, but the right call in the end”.
“It’s better for the long run,” Duncan said.
“My job as coach was to be optimistic with my team and I put my vote in.
“But there was no way to play without crowds or no premierships. It’s not why we play.”
The Swans returned for their first training session since restrictions eased just hours after the call was made to cancel the season.
“It was our first one back. It was good to see everyone,” Duncan said.
Following Avenel’s shock elimination final loss to Lancaster last year, the club had a busy off-season recruiting ahead of another crack at the premiership.
Duncan said he expected most of the group to return for 2021, while the club would also look to another busy - albeit longer - off-season in recruiting.
His biggest concern was if other local leagues returned in the coming months, it could attract players who wanted to play a game this year away from the KDL.
As for keeping players motivated through a long stretch of no football, Duncan said he expected they would keep up with their training.
“It’s not just us, everyone is in the same boat,” he said.
“You trust guys to get out for a kick.”
He said the club could return for an earlier pre-season for 2021 and may look to hold scratch matches with other clubs.
“We’ll also look to get the boys involved in some things, be it running footy clinics or getting some junior footy up this year,” Duncan said.