Redan president Garry Goyne has rebuffed any suggestion Ballarat Football Netball League clubs chose not to have a junior competition this year through "lack of interest".
He said this could not be further from the truth.
"We wanted to play football and netball," Goyne said.
"That's why we exist - to play football and netball."
He said the decision by clubs was fully justified, based on ensuring the safety and welfare of all players, their families, club volunteers and officials, and the wider community given the potential impact of COVID-19.
Goyne said there were also concerns about demands on club officials and volunteers in meeting the required match-day protocols associated with issues such hygiene and crowd control.
He said it had been informed decision and he had no regrets from his club point of view despite a substantial number of Redan juniors moving to Central Highlands Football League clubs to play this year.
Goyne was responding to an article in The Courier on Monday, which stated that a "lack of interest" from member clubs had forced the hand of the BFNL board in abandoning a junior competition.
He also disagreed with BFNL chairman Adrian Bettio's view that clubs would be having second thoughts because players were moving to CHFL clubs.
"I'm sure there are clubs out there now that perhaps on the back of the recent interest that has been shown in playing through the permits with the Central Highlands, they may wish that perhaps they had reconsidered their options a little bit more," Bettio said.
Bettio said clubs had been warned about players leaving the competition if a junior season was not to get up and running.
"They were made really quite aware of the fact that there was a possibility that it would affect their ability to maintain players and player participation moving forward," he said.
There has been a flood of more than 50 BFNL junior footballers - about 20 from Redan - apply for COVID-19 permits to play with CHFL clubs.
Goyne said he had no issues with youngsters wanting to play relocating to CHFL clubs if their families were comfortable with the move.
He said he was confident the vast majority, if not all, the players would return to the Lions next year.
The CHFL is going ahead with under-17, under-15 and under-12 competitions from Saturday.