A NAB League coach says Victoria's lockdowns are impacting young players and students who are missing out on coming-of-age experiences.
Greater Western Victoria Rebels mentor David Loader said being cut off from sport, the classroom and social functions was "incredibly hard".
It comes as the state endures its fifth coronavirus lockdown in 16 months.
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The flag fancy Rebels are sidelined, with competitions and training banned, until Wednesday at the earliest.
They missed a game against Dandenong Stingrays last weekend and were scheduled to host Bendigo Pioneers in Ballarat on Saturday.
Loader said there was hope clubs would complete their 12-game home-and-away seasons with agility to help squeeze in games when state government restrictions eased.
The former North Melbourne development coach said the restrictions had impacted youth immensely.
"Personally I think it's incredibly hard on these kids," he said.
"I think anyone aged between 17 and 22 has had to deal with COVID (restrictions) far, far worst than most.
"I want to be totally respectful to people who have had to close businesses but if we're just talking pure age groups, these kids have missed out on going to school everyday and seeing their friends, they've missed out on school socials, school camps, 18th birthdays, 21sts and they've missed out on sport in their draft time.
"For me obviously I lost my job with the AFL and it is was change for myself and was disappointing but really (lockdowns) just mean I stay home and we don't go out much anyway.
"What's really changed? We don't get to go out for tea as much or catch up with friends as much in big groups but it's not a quantum change.
"Their lives have been torn to shreds from what a normal teenager goes through."
Loader said his players were dealing with the issues in their own individual ways.
"The footy is one part of it but I have a look at some of these kids and go 'gee, you've been dished up some pretty tough stuff to work your way through'," he said.
"They are making the best fist of it and right at the minute I think they understand they can't control it but gee, that doesn't make it any easier."
Loader, who also coaches the Rebels' girls team whose season preceded the boys' campaign, said it was important for the players' development, on and off the field, to be involved.
"We're trying to keep our communication lines open," he said.
"We'll have an online meeting with the playing group possibly Thursday night, just to touch base and see how everyone is going because it (the timeframe for the lockdown) still a little bit open-ended.
"I know people are saying we'll be back to work next Wednesday but there's no guarantee of that either.
"We don't want to overcomplicate things for the boys, we don't want to confuse them but we certainly want to keep them in the loop as much as we can."
Loader said the AFL wanted to squeeze in matches lost due to the lockdown, particularly after the NAB League was scrapped in 2020.
"I think they're going to be as flexible as they possibly can," he said.
"We've got four games to go and even though we're missing these two weeks, we're being told we'll pick those up.
"It may look like having a game in the middle of the week, eg we might play Dandenong on a Saturday afternoon, Bendigo on a Wednesday night under lights and Sandringham the next Saturday or Sunday."
Loader said the finals date might also be adjusted.
The Rebels (eight wins, one loss) sit second on the ladder on percentage.
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