"This has been a very trying year."
As club's across the region prepare to get back into the swing of things, Mudgee Gulgong Wolves FC have recently made the 'difficult' decision to cancel the season for their juniors.
The decision was announced on social media on June 24, 2020, and Mudgee Gulgong Wolves FC club president Peter Mitchell said one of the many reasons why was the restrictions that would be required.
"COVID has had a devastating effect on the club. We were just starting registrations when the government ban came into effect and placed everything on hold," he said.
"With the late release of the guidance on returning to play, it left us in the position of having to cancel the season due to the extensive requirements that would have placed a large burden on the club's volunteers to ensure everyone remained safe.
"The season would have only been approximately eight weeks long and we felt that the players and parents would not receive value for their money."
Despite how eager much of those involved in the club have been to see football, the health of everyone was the priority.
"The decision was very tough as we are one of the biggest junior clubs in town. It was not made lightly as the decision makers had children wanting to play which also added to the toughness," Mitchell said.
"The impacts will be felt over many areas, player numbers may reduce for future seasons, financially and satisfying sponsorship agreements through this season.
"The effect on all areas of the club will be huge as we all looked forward to a full season not so long ago and to now have none will affect all of us.
All players, parents and committee members have been supportive of our decision to put their health and the health of the community above everyone's desire to play.Mudgee Gulgong Wolves FC president, Peter Mitchell
"Compared to other years this year has been very demanding and stressful on all of us."
Six teams will be representing the club in the Western Youth League representative competition, and in preparation for it to go ahead, the Wolves are in talks with the Lithgow Football Association to organise some runs before the competition starts.
"We are in the process of organising refunds to our players who have registered already. I ask if people could be patient as we will get advice out there ASAP," Mitchell said.
"Some players will need to stay registered should the Western Youth League go ahead.
"We hope this season does not turn players away for future seasons and we will be back again for a bigger and better season in 2021."