Country football simply must go ahead this season.
That's the unanimous opinion of the bosses of the Ovens and Murray, Hume and Tallangatta leagues.
David Sinclair, Brendan I'Anson and Rex Gray have all declared they will do everything in their power to ensure there is no repeat of last season when COVID-19 wiped out most community sports throughout the country.
Gray feared the dire consequences on community sporting clubs if COVID-19 forced the cancellation of a second successive season.
"We just have to have a season for the sake of clubs and their communities," Gray said.
"My biggest fear is if we don't have sport this year it will force clubs to fold.
"I hope I'm wrong.
"But to have no sport for two years would be tough to recover from.
"A lot of players and volunteers would struggle to find the motivation to stay involved.
"But we are planning for the season to go ahead and dealing with any curve balls that come our way.
"It's boom or bust really."
My biggest fear is if we don't have sport this year it will force clubs to fold.Rex Gray
Sinclair vowed he was prepared to leave no stone unturned to ensure one of the most highly anticipated seasons in recent O&M history went ahead this year.
"As a league we have the mindset that we will do everything possible to get community sport up and running," Sinclair said.
"We still have to abide by government regulations.
"The Riverina league proved last year that a competition can still go ahead successfully in a COVID-19 environment.
"But the O&M has the additional stumbling block of having two states involved, compared to solely NSW.
"Without having a crystal ball, one of the biggest issues we face is if there is a hard lockdown of the Border at any stage during the season.
"That will make things problematic.
"Also there are a lot of players who travel from Melbourne to play, so we don't want to see another ring of steel around Melbourne."
Sinclair said he attended several Riverina matches last year to see first hand how the league coped with the COVID-19 environment.
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I'Anson echoed the pair's thoughts.
"We may have been the first competition to abandon the season last year," I'Anson said.
"But I can assure you that we will be the last competition to call it quits this year and will exhaust every avenue possible for the season to go ahead.
"It's our responsibility as league officials."