SHATTERED but fully understanding.
That is the reaction from netball clubs following advice this week from AFL Central Victoria to cease all football and netball activities until at least April 1 due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Players will face an even longer wait for some match action, with the start of the Bendigo, Heathcote District, Loddon Valley and North Central league seasons postponed until at least May 31.
The recommendations have necessitated a rethink from coaches as their players prepare for a long stint on the sidelines.
South Bendigo coach Jannelle Hobbs said like all players, hers were extremely disappointed, but backed them to make the most of a tough situation for all Australians.
"Obviously we've prepared and timed our training sessions to peak for round one, now that's going to be all out the window," she said.
"Being off until the end of May, it's going to be like another pre-season.
"At the moment, like everyone, we've stopped training for a couple of weeks, but we've given the girls a home program to do. There's not much else to do but wait and see."
Hobbs said the Bloods were awaiting further advice from AFL Central Victoria on whether small groups of players could train together, or whether they would be required to prepare alone.
"The girls are devastated, but what do you do? There's not much really you can do," she said.
"The girls are very understanding - some say it's a bit of overkill.
"There's a lot of things we are not too sure of, but absolutely we need to keep in mind what's going on in the world. It's hard to tell, I like most have never encountered anything like this."
With most players already doing plenty of fitness work outside of the club environment, Kangaroo Flat coach Jayden Cowling backed the Roos to be raring to go if and when the season went ahead.
"It's a brand new scenario for everyone, but obviously we want our girls to keep their fitness and training up, but most of them do go to the gym and do outside stuff - that won't change," he said.
"I've given the girls a training program and a few sessions they can do while we are on a break.
"Nothing else much changes, other than not being able to train together.
"They were shattered the season has been postponed - we had a practice match scheduled this weekend and they were very excited about the next four weeks.
"They're disappointed not to get that match play in, but will look ahead to beyond April 1."
Cowling praised AFL Central Victoria's action as responsible and in the best interests of everyone involved in not just netball and football circles, but on a community level.
"At the end of the day it comes down to health; we want everyone fit and healthy," he said.
"We don't want anyone getting sick, not just in Bendigo, but everywhere."
Highlighting the complexities facing leagues, including the Heathcote District, in terms of rescheduling games and determining the season's length, Huntly coach Emily Eliades said it was inevitable some clubs would be disadvantaged by whatever scenario prevailed.
"Something like extending the season, or midweek games will benefit some teams and not others," she said.
"We had a girl have a baby at the start of the year, that will work in our favour as she will now be available to play, but then you have players getting married once the season is normally over.
"And then we have a crossover of sports. It's a catch 22.
"Playing midweek games won't suit everyone either; there are teams with players not living in Bendigo, or away for uni and only home at weekends. That will suit some teams one week and not the next week.
"You struggle enough during the season with illnesses, players being unavailable, work commitments, weddings, put this on top of it, it's incredible."
Have you signed up to the Bendigo Advertiser's daily newsletter and breaking news emails? You can register below and make sure you are up to date with everything that's happening in central Victoria.