LEAGUE leaders hope a shortened season will go ahead and start in June, after the region's football and netball seasons were postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Wimmera Football League, Wimmera Netball Association, Horsham District Football Netball League and Mininera and District league seasons have all been postponed until Sunday, May 31.
Each season could then begin the following weekend, on Saturday, June 6.
Interleague contests, which were scheduled for Saturday, May 23, have been called-off. Auskick centres have also been put on hold.
AFL Wimmera-Mallee area manager Jason Muldoon said the recommendations and dates would be continually reviewed as circumstances surrounding the coronavirus change.
Mr Muldoon said it was a rapidly evolving situation.
Wimmera Football League commissioner Trevor Albrecht was optimistic that a shortened 2020 season would still go ahead.
Mr Albrecht said the league had not yet discussed details of a season structure if it were to return on the proposed date.
"We have those dates set and we'll keep working toward those dates with great hope that we will get back and get going on June 6," he said.
"I think we'll come back, and I think we will come back pretty strong."
Mr Albrecht called for unity during a trying time.
"It's about working together now rather than nitpicking certain things," he said.
"There will be things that don't suit us all. We just have to go with the flow and make it work as best as we can.
"Country people are resilient - now is the time to show that and support each other really well.
"We need to keep being the practical people that we all are out here and need to keep making common sense decisions."
Mr Albrecht said the league wanted to keep communication open between clubs and fans. He said concerned peoples could contact him at any time with queries.
Horsham District league chairman Fred Mellington said the situation was completely unprecedented.
He said while a delay to the season was disappointing, it was pleasing to have a definitive "line in the sand" and a date to work toward.
Mr Mellington also called for cooperation.
"In my 19 years on the board, what has been rewarding is that sense of sticking together when things go bad and when problems arise," he said.
"It's all the same game and we've all got the same interests. Right now it is about the community.
"I trust that people will have the community's best interests in mind."
Harrow-Balmoral playing-coach Nick Pekin said he was "shattered" about the delay, but understood the decision made by the AFL.
"People just have to look out for each other," he said.
"It might not affect us (players), but it might really affect your grandparents, so people have to be smart and have some common sense about the situation."
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