Boys and girls NAB League seasons will run this year, with the timing potentially set to benefit community clubs.
With the NAB League boys season not set to start until August 22, local leagues could see their star youngsters take to the field for more games than usual should club seasons begin.
Murray Bushrangers will be in the NAB League's country conference for the six-week season, with five regular season matches to take place before the country's best side takes on the winner of the metropolitan conference in a grand final, expected to be set for Saturday, September 26.
Meanwhile, the Bushies’ girls will play two more matches beginning on the same date to complete their season which began in March.
The Bushies were 0-1-1 through two games before the season was suspended for COVID-19, having nicked a draw with the Western Jets in their final clash.
AFL head of talent pathways and state leagues Tristan Salter told AFL.com.au running a season was a good result for all.
“All levels of the game across the country have been impacted by the health pandemic this year,” Salter said.
"While we would prefer to provide a standard season of NAB League football, this outcome ensures an opportunity for many players to continue their journey in the talent pathway.
“We know how much these competitions mean to players, coaches, officials, volunteers and fans and we look forward to working together to ensuring all clubs return to play in a safe and well managed environment.
“We are excited about the return of community and school footy and players are being encouraged to engage in these formats before returning to test themselves in the NAB League competition."