JUNIOR powerhouse South Warrnambool is preparing to pick up where it left off when the delayed Hampden league season launches next month.
Two-time under 18 premiership coach Tait Niddrie is grateful his players will get an opportunity to compete in 2020 as the region deals with the uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic.
The league is focusing on juniors after scrapping its senior competitions.
"Being a (senior) player I am disappointed in one way but I am super stoked for the boys to have the opportunity," Niddrie said.
"I think it is paramount for the game going forward that we do have junior footy. At the end of the day, the juniors become seniors.
"We need to try and keep them in the competition as long as possible.
"For them to get back would be sensational."
South Warrnambool is training in readiness for round one.
AFL Victoria regulations have eased, allowing for contact training for those 18 and under.
"From the training sessions we've had already, the boys have loved it," Niddrie said.
"It's been a really good release for them, especially for the 17, 18 year olds.
"It's meant to be one of the best times of their lives - they're finishing school, they're getting their licence, that sort of stuff.
"And to give them something back while they've had a lot taken away is awesome."
The Roosters have five teenagers on NAB League club GWV Rebels' 2020 list - Myles McCluggage, Archie Stevens, Marcus Herbert, Liam Herbert and Fraser Marris.
The Warrnambool College teacher said the entire list had worked hard during the coronavirus-enforced break.
"Having to individualise training and there was no contact but I think or boys took it onboard," Niddrie said.
"I was down there a few times myself having a kick with a few mates or going for a run and you'd always see South would have a couple of footies floating around at each end.
"The boys are very dedicated and hopefully that puts them in good stead.
"We had our first contact training on Wednesday night. It was great, I think a few of the boys were relishing it a bit."
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