Numerous south-west football and netball coaches have welcomed AFL Western District's decision to postpone the start of the season due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
On Tuesday, AFLWD announced no games would be played until after May 31. Clubs are encouraged to cancel group training until then.
Koroit coach Stacey O'Sullivan, the Hampden league 2019 open premiership mentor, backed the call.
"I think they're making the right move," she said.
"At the end of the day, the safety of the community is more important than sport."
The Saints had already decided not to train this week before the announcement.
Koroit premiership football coach Chris McLaren had a meeting with players on Tuesday night to work out a plan for the coming months.
He said he wasn't confident football would return this season.
But he said it was important to keep things in perspective.
"Obviously from a pure footy perspective, it's a bit of a blow," he said.
"But you've got to put into perspective what is actually going on in the world.
"It's only minor, it's only a game of footy."
The Saints won't continue to train. But McLaren said he was lucky to have players who undertook personal fitness away from the club.
"'I have 100 per cent trust in my players to go away and keep themselves in good shape," he said.
McLaren believes it could be a good chance for the group to mentally freshen up after a long stretch of premiership campaigns.
Warrnambool and District league A grade coach Thalia Robertson said she was "actually quite relieved" to see the announcement.
"I think it's an absolutely necessary precaution to take for our community," the Russells Creek coach said.
Robertson, who works in health, said it was too risky to play the game at this time.
"Just the potential to spread the virus is too concerning to warrant playing netball," she said.
"I know my girls are disappointed but they're on board with the decision made."
She said her group had been talking about the possibility of postponement for the past week and she wasn't surprised by the announcement.
Robertson said it was going to be hard to take for a community that loved its sport.
"I know from my family perspective, we're up there (the club) a couple of times a week, it's our social get together," she said.
Robertson said she would regularly communicate with her group.
"I'll be getting in contact with all my girls and coaches, making sure we're checking in with each other," she said.
The Creek mentor said it was important to keep in touch and take care of each other's mental health, especially new faces to the community.
Allansford football coach Ben Price was fully supportive of the decision but acknowledged it was a blow for the football and netball community.
"It's disappointing but I understand why," he said.
"I'm not disappointed by the decision.
"It's disappointing because of the anticipation that pre-season brings and it's on the eve of the season when everyone has put in a lot of practice.
"But we've got to think about personal health and safety first."
Price is interested to see what will happen if football returns.
He pointed out May 31 is about the midpoint of the WDFNL season and if football returned then, teams would probably play each other once to make a season.
"It's going to take creative and good business skills to act upon it," he said.
Price's concerns go beyond the boundary line with the senior coach worried about the small community of Allansford.
He said the club's social calendar, which is family-based, would be impacted.
"Country footy is more about what happens off the field than on the field," he said.
Kolora-Noorat premiership mentor Ben Walsh said the club wasn't surprised by the decision either.
"It's just one of those things that's out of everyone's control," he said.
The Power coach said there were people who were going to be a lot worse off due to the coronavirus.
"It's just a bizarre world we're living in at the minute," he said.
He'll try and get his players together in the next couple of days to chat about the situation.
"I'll tell the guys to keep themselves as fit and healthy as they can," he said.
Walsh said a mid-season return would be an ideal scenario but believed it to be a 50/50 chance.
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