AFL Wimmera-Mallee has urged clubs to obey new directives and cancel all football and netball training to help slow the spread of COVID-19.
The AFL postponed every league in the Wimmera until May 31, with training sessions also to be halted until June.
AFL Wimmera-Mallee area manager Jason Muldoon said while he understood that some clubs will want to continue their pre-season regimens, group training posed a significant risk to the broader community.
"The footballers are not the ones that are going to be really affected, but they are going to carry the virus," he said.
"Clubs need to ask themselves if they are comfortable with the possibility of one of their footballers contracting the virus at training, going home and seeing their grandmother or elderly relatives, and that relative contracts the virus and passes away.
"That's the harsh reality of why we are stopping training.
"Clubs can defy the ban, but they need to ask themselves, are they going to be comfortable if that is what happens?"
Mr Muldoon added that every team is "in the same boat" in having a limited training period before June 6.
"If all is going well and we look like we're going to play again, maybe there's an opportunity to lift the training ban in the middle of May. We don't know," Mr Muldoon said.
"You only have to see the way it has progressed in the last week, or even from a government perspective the things they have had to change in the last hour, to see how quickly this is moving."
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Harrow-Balmoral coach Nick Pekin said he was concerned about people's mental health without the social outlet of sport, as the populace is encouraged to self-isolate as much as possible.
"Sport is a massive outlet for people," Pekin said.
"I don't know how we go about that just yet, but down the track hopefully we can still provide each other some support.
"We're working closely (with AFL Wimmera-Mallee) to see what we can and can't do, and what is recommended."
Mr Muldoon said people can provide support to individuals without group gatherings.
"It's a good opportunity to check in with people through a phone call, or calling into a neighbour to say g'day," he said.
"We know that the Saturday football-netball get together is so vital within the communities for socialising and mental health, so it's something we can't let the ball drop on.
"We need to be really focused on looking after people in the community and making sure they are okay, because that is a big part of what football-netball clubs provide."
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