LEADERS are confident female football can return in the south-west this year despite the COVID-19 break.
Coaches believe the Western Victoria Female Football League's shorter season format, lack of expenses and ability to work within crowd restrictions will give it every possibility to play in 2020.
AFL Victoria has announced sanctioned club training, in groups of 10, can resume on Monday, May 25.
The WVFFL was to feature 12-round under 18 and women's competitions this year.
South Warrnambool under 18 girls coach Chris Meade said there were opportunities to consolidate female football in the region and they would "jump at the chance to play".
"We are hopeful. We don't have the crowds like the senior (men's) do which is one plus and our expenses to play aren't there," he said.
"Financially for the club it would be OK for us to proceed. In previous years we had 10 rounds.
"As the year progresses, we could probably squeeze our season in I think, I really do.
"Even if we reduced it to eight or six plus finals that would be great. Just to get on the park would be a plus."
Meade is wary of a season off, saying "it would hinder us".
"Especially sides that have been a bit low on numbers, you need it to keep going to create that interest and keep it viable," he said.
South Warrnambool women's coach Brenton O'Rourke is cautiously optimistic about getting a season in too.
"Fortunately for the women's side of things, it is in its infancy and it's highly agile," he said.
"What I am hearing from (our) group is there is enough interest so if we were able to get some form of basic competition up and going this year, even for an enjoyment factor, we'll do whatever the majority of the playing group would like and push for that."
O'Rourke said he would await direction from the club regarding a return to training.
"There are enough people still interested to get back training together so I will show up with footballs and we'll see what happens when we're allowed," he said.
"If there was enough interest to play each other once or have some form of modified type of season this year, just to keep the ball rolling, that would be great."
Warrnambool men's senior coach Matt O'Brien said it was important clubs supported female football's growth.
"Their season is quite short, six or eight games last year (in the women's), so they could still have their whole season ahead of them," he said.
"It has picked up momentum over the last couple of years and it would be good to maintain that."
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