A Hampden league senior mentor believes banning all formal training before Australia Day would ease the pressure on players, coaches, families and support staff and help prolong careers.
Warrnambool coach Matt O'Brien concedes it's an unlikely scenario in modern-day country football but raised the idea in The Standard's State of the game survey.
O'Brien, who works in the education system, said it was important to "develop well-rounded individuals and focusing too heavily on football for too long might be contrary to that goal".
"I think at our level of football a solid 12-week pre-season is enough to get into shape and people continue to build fitness as the season progresses," he said.
"I think committing to a full pre-season that begins in October prohibits some people from playing senior footy.
"It also probably detracts from other sports in the area, particularly cricket."
MORE SURVEY RESULTS:
O'Brien said the current system of a pre-season training block before Christmas was "another strain on resources".
"We are trying to mimic the AFL but we don't have the rest of the structures around it," he said.
"Most senior players don't need that work and the extra work they are doing might shorten some careers, particularly because our training is more of a one-size fits all rather than tailored to individuals such as the AFL might have.
"Your support staff are also drawn into pre-season. You need to have trainers there, the players need to be strapped up if you're doing any ball work.
"It is another thing that shortens the career of a coach too. You've got a family you're living with and you're taking off again in October and three nights a week training is a fairly big commitment."
O'Brien, who confirmed 100-goal spearhead Darren Ewing would remain a Blue in 2020, said there were positives to a pre-Christmas training block, particularly for players aged 18-21 who were still building strength.
"You could tailor a program for them, particularly with one of the gyms around town, or one of the boot camps," he said.
He said it also helped recruits settle in.
Have you signed up to The Standard's daily newsletter and breaking news emails? You can register below and make sure you are up to date with everything that's happening in the south-west.