EAST Warrnambool Football Netball Club is eyeing a 2023 return to competition after it was granted a recess extension.
The Bombers plan to meet with AFL Western District and Warrnambool and District league officials in early December to discuss their comeback plan.
Clubs are deemed disbanded after a two-year recess according to the AFL Victoria handbook.
But applications for extensions can be considered.
AFL Western District region manager Matt Ross said East Warrnambool, which last played in 2019, was given more time.
"We've exercised discretion, adding an extra year given the COVID impacts of 2020," he said.
Ross said East Warrnambool would need to meet certain requirements before it could return to play.
"There was parameters which are deemed appropriate to re-enter," he said.
"It needs to be sustainable and sensitive to the needs of other clubs."
East Warrnambool treasurer Julie Scoble said the Bombers were bullish about their prospects.
"We have requested and they (AFL Western District) have approved that our recess which was for two years did not incase the 2020 season because it didn't go ahead (due to COVID-19)," she told The Standard.
"I think everyone with COVID is just that 12 months behind where we wanted to be. We have quite a few good ideas and we're looking at a strategic plan and a timeline.
"We're hoping to be able to announce coaches early next year and we're looking at a junior program to start up again and even signing some people early ready for the 2023 season.
"COVID has made it difficult, don't get me wrong, and I think we've lost a lot of juniors to the sport across the board but we're going to do our best to get us back on the field.
"It is in everyone's interest for us to be back on the field."
Scoble said the Bombers, who last played in 2019, looked to Mininera and District league club Great Western for inspiration.
The Lions are reigning premiers having emerged from recess as a stronger entity.
"We are really hoping we can model ourselves on them. We have a lot of support out there and I've got a lot of players already saying they're ready to sign," Scoble said.
"We have a lot of old, past players who are really keen. We've been opening socially every second Friday night."
Scoble said she was passionate about East Warrnambool and helping the Bombers return to competition.
"They are the oldest club in the league, and they built everything themselves up at the Reid Oval," she said.
"My passion is the past players, the older group who have been around - the ones who ring me to ask how we're going.
"It is for those people."
East Warrnambool will hold its annual general meeting at its Reid Oval-based club rooms on Monday at 6pm.
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