Three-time North Ballarat Roosters VFL premiership coach Gerard FitzGerald says the uncertainty surrounding community football is creating a fatigue within the sport.
He believes the "will there be or won't there be" question is taking a toll.
FitzGerald has been preparing for his first season as Hamilton Kangaroos senior coach, but he will now have to wait until 2021 after the Hampden Football Netball League decided on Wednesday night not go ahead with a competition this year.
FitzGerald said as disappointing as it would be for him not to be involved in the game this year, there was a sense of relief of finally having certainty.
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He said making a call alowed everyone involved to draw a line in the sand and reset for next year.
FitzGerald said he was surprised the HFNL had not waited a little longer, given there was scope to play finals in October and the positive signs there had been the gradual easing of COVID-19 restrictions in the general community.
"There's been significant positive change in the past few weeks."
He said it was important to be cautious, but he thought there was some time to play with.
The Ballarat Football Netball League and Central Highlands Football League are among competitions holding off making a definite call on the 2020 season pending further state government announcements. These are expected on Monday, June 22.
The BFNL has set a June 26 deadline for a decision, while the CHFL is leaving its options open to give it every opportunity to play.
Just as there is varied opinions from league to league as the number of competitions across the state abandoning the season steadily grows, there are also varying views among players on whether football should go ahead.
FitzGerald said this came as no surprise, with life experience playing a part in how individuals viewed the game.
He said a single 18 or 19-year-old is going to have a different perspective and relationship with the game to a 30-year-old with a young family.
FitzGerald said then there were players at all stages of their careers who were totally invested in the game and others who simply enjoyed playing the game for the fun of it.
The coaching great said ultimately the game would never be completely the same when it returned.
He said no one had ever imagined life without sport. "Perhaps we took it for granted. We never really thought about it. It was there."
FitzGerald said the COVID-19 shutdown of sport across the board had highlighted the sense of community it provided in bringing people together.
He said while being without football might rekindle community interest in it when it does return, there might also be people who did not return having adapted to life without it.
FitzGerald said there was certainly a sense of the unknown in what was ahead.
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