Football is more than a game. You only have to look at the number of people heading to games across the region each weekend to understand its importance.
It's a chance to socialise, be active, bring economic benefits to town.
Volunteers and their spirit embody the sense of community that exists around clubs and leagues. It truly is a way of life.
But will it continue as we know it next year, the year after or five years after that?
Seismic change is on the football horizon across the south-west.
It's not new that clubs struggle for numbers from time to time but it's becoming more prevalent.
It wasn't long ago that Deakin University Sharks went into recess and left the Warrnambool and District Football Netball league with 11 clubs.
This week the focus has been on the Mininera and District league after Ararat Eagles copped a 509-point hiding.
MDFL club Penshurst is interested in exploring a move to the WDFNL.
Neighbouring Hawkesdale-Macarthur is also open to talks.
Not so long ago we reported Terang Mortlake's struggles in the Hampden league on the back of the changing economics of dairy farming and that area's population.
Clubs in the vicinity - Kolora-Noorat, Camperdown, Cobden, Timboon Demons, Nirranda and Panmure - are all jostling for players from the same pool.
No-one wants to see clubs fold because they are the lifeblood of their town or community. But the reality is there are too many clubs and not enough players.
It seems that every five or so years there are talks about the game's future.
But now the talks are getting serious. If Penshurst and Hawkesdale-Macarthur choose to change leagues, the landscape changes.
For the WDFNL the addition of new clubs would be a breath of fresh air.
The disparity between top and bottom would need to be addressed but the league would be better with teams from a new frontier.
There are pros and cons. But instead of considering one club in isolation, a wide-ranging review is needed that is serious about mapping out a bright future.
It can't be a talk-fest dominated by the past or parochial views with no outcomes otherwise the great game risks more challenges.