SOUTH-WEST football clubs have taken a further step towards normal training following more changes to AFL Victoria's training protocols.
As of Thursday two groups of 20 are now allowed to train on ovals but must still adhere to social distancing and have health protocols in place.
It is still unknown if or when contact training will be allowed back in 2020.
South-west clubs in Allansford, South Warrnambool, North Warrnambool Eagles, Warrnambool and South Rovers are back training.
Old Collegians and Dennington are expected to return next week, while Koroit and Panmure have been vocal about their desire to not return to training until a decision is made on their respective league seasons.
Nirranda, Merrivale, Kolora-Noorat, Camperdown, Cobden, Portland, Timboon Demons, Terang Mortlake, Russells Creek and Port Fairy are also waiting.
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South Warrnambool mentor Mat Battistello said it was great to take any positive steps forward.
"There has been a lot of change in a week and it has now gone from 10 players to 20," he said.
"We would like to think we would get strong leadership from AFL Victoria on getting back to footy at some point and when that comes out who knows."
Cats coach Ben Price said the news more footballers were allowed on the club's home ground at Allansford Recreation Reserve was fantastic.
He said the club's seniors and under 18s could now both train on Tuesday and Thursday and they were expecting the junior sides to return next week.
"For under 18s it's that interaction and them knowing they have people who care about them and people a level above them to look at as they can get stuck in their little group," he said.
"But now they have got support of the whole club at senior level."
The second-year mentor said there was minimal drills the Cats could do but it has allowed him to think differently around how to train his players.
"There are additional benefits with what we have done as we have created lots of space, run and carry, changes of direction and kicking on angles," he said.
"Then basically when a person leaves a point someone else takes that point and we go from there."
Battistello said the Roosters' teams were all training one night a week with their senior, reserves and under 18s training on Wednesday.
"We are fully aware of some of the speed humps to getting a season up but most of our club and groups of training are more doing it for the social engagement factor," he said.
"Our (senior) training has been facilitated by the senior leadership group and we are not specially training towards anything as there is no guidance on return to play so it is more social training."
Price said there was a buzz around his playing group as they all slowly return to training together.
"I keep reiterating whether we do or don't get back it is more about being out there and getting interaction back with each other and getting in a good head space," he said.
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