OVENS and Murray and district league clubs look likely to resume training within a week.
AFL Victoria advised clubs over the weekend to prepare for a return to training on Monday, May 25.
It is set to release its return to play protocols later this week.
Initially, clubs will be limited to non-contact training in groups of up to 10 players.
Clubs will be allowed to have up to two groups training on the same oval on the proviso the ground is split into two zones.
Head of community football Victoria, Stephen O'Donohue, remains optimistic a shortened season is still a realistic option for country leagues.
"We will continue to work with the state government to ensure alignment with their advice," O'Donohue told AFL Victoria affiliates in a statement.
"And in the event of further easing of restrictions, we hope to be able to return to full training and competition later in the year, with hygiene and safety protocols firmly in place."
IN OTHER NEWS
While the announcement provides a glimmer of hope that local footy fans could see some live action this year, the limit on the size of crowds is still a major stumbling block to the season starting.
The majority of clubs are of the opinion that a crowd of up to 500 would still leave them out of pocket and not a viable option.
Murrumbidgee Local Health District director of public health, Tracey Oakman, said crowd policies in regards to country football would ultimately be a government based decision.
"There is potential for people to say well, on a football oval you could have 200 people separating quite easily so you are a metre and a half apart and that would give the audience," Oakman said.
"But there are points during where people come in and when people leave and the bathrooms and so forth where you'd potentially have congregation.
"So we'll be leaving it to the guidance of politicians who will make those rules and we will follow them."
O&M general manager Sean Barrett said the resumption of training was only a small step in the right direction to the season starting.
"There are still a lot of things that need to fall into place before we can start playing," Barrett said.
"Being able to resume training is a small step in the right direction.
"We are still waiting on those protocols from AFL Victoria on how clubs can return to training so they can go through the education process before they do.
"AFL Victoria has indicated that it will release those protocols early this week.
"So that will be the next step and we will continue to keep working hard to try and get a season underway and hope for the best."
O&M clubs will also vote on whether the season starts with a 75 per cent majority needed to proceed.
The Hume league will meet with its clubs on Wednesday night to discuss the recent developments.
Hume league president Brendan I'Anson said clubs would be formally asked to vote whether they are prepared to play into October.
"Initially most clubs said they were reluctant to play into October because of farming commitments," I'Anson said.
"So we have sent out a letter to the clubs stating that if we can't get up and running by mid-July we will need to play into October.
"But we won't be making a final decision on Wednesday night as to whether the season goes ahead or not."
Tallangatta and District league president Rex Gray warned that there was a big difference between a return to training and a return to playing.
"It's positive news but I'm just hoping it's not filling everybody who wants to see football back with false hope," Gray said.
"I probably can't add much more and I think everybody is waiting for AFL Victoria's next announcement on its return to play protocols later this week."