CLUBS are considering running junior scratch matches against teams in their local areas, if deemed safe to do so, after the Hampden league competition was cancelled on Wednesday night due to COVID-19 logistics.
The shortened season was scrapped after two rounds due to ongoing scheduling issues.
But clubs could train on and fixture friendlies to help provide junior footballers and netballers in the region with a physical and mental outlet.
Presidents Pat Doran (North Warrnambool Eagles), Steve Harris (South Warrnambool), Noel Black (Port Fairy), Troy Bannam (Portland) and Simon Perry (Warrnambool) told The Standard it was a day-by-day proposition given the ever-changing coronavirus landscape in Victoria.
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All five backed the Hampden league's decision to abandon a premiership season with Doran highlighting the solidarity.
"One of the things with the presidents of the clubs, we've all got our own patches to look after but we're pretty unified on the bigger picture stuff," Doran said.
"I think that has been the case since the junior review. It's held us in good stead with this.
"We've supported the Hampden league with what they needed to do to make things happen and we now support them in the decision they've made (to cancel)."
Harris said the Roosters "firmly believed participation is good for our young people's mental health in these times".
"We'll look at every opportunity we can talk to make that happen," he said.
Harris said the goal was to play scratch matches against teams within the same area.
"It is a week-by-week proposition and everyone needs to be aware it's a changing environment," he said.
"You can't set anything in stone too far out but certainly I think there is an appetite among the local clubs to have some form of local scratch-match competition."
Black said Port Fairy was of a similar mindset, hoping the juniors might play "just under a different format".
"It is still a day-to-day challenge. We will take stock and continue to review the situation with thoughts at the bare minimum of still training so the kids can have a run around," he said.
"If there is a possibility of playing some sport against another club, we will look at that opportunity closely."
Black said clubs would have to play against opponents within close proximity.
"I think we've got to be smart about that and keep the travelling close by," he said.
"I guess it's similar to the AFL, a hub-type situation and monitoring the circumstances very closely.
"The goal posts keep changing daily."
Perry said Warrnambool was eager to keep its juniors involved too and would meet as a whole club on Wednesday to "map out a plan for the next few months".
"For our young people in our community, I have some real concerns for people's mental health and well-being at the moment," he said.
"As we know, clubs and sport are vital to supporting our young people. We as a club will be looking at training and looking at some local scratch matches.
"I know there is a bit of interest from the Warrnambool area (Hampden league) clubs and we could maybe even look at doing it with some district league clubs as well."
Doran said "if there are opportunities later then we'll explore them".
"But not at the risk to our club or supporters," he said.
Bannam said Portland, which had put training on hold this week, would "let the dust settle for a week or so" before making any decisions.
He said the Tigers would consider "something locally" to keep their players involved and interested.
The five leaders all said running a formal competition had become difficult with the variables at play and thanked the league for making the tough call.