Horsham Saints' product Darcy Tucker says he's already desperately missing football, after the COVID-19 pandemic forced the AFL season to be postponed until at least May 31.
Tucker and the Fremantle Dockers played just one match before the AFL season was postponed, and players are unable to train together as teams abide by social isolation laws.
Tucker said he was determined to maintain an individual training routine and stay motivated during the unprecedented period.
"It's weird times for everyone at the moment, not just in footy but for everyone in general," Tucker said.
"Everyone is in the same situation, so we've just got to help ourselves through it and take care of ourselves, not only as football players, but as a community as well.
"I'm just trying to fill my days as best as possible and stick to a schedule.
"Hopefully we can beat this and quickly come out the other end."
Tucker said isolation had already made him more appreciative of his football career.
"Sometimes you can just take it for granted when you're playing ... but I miss (footy) heaps," he said.
"I think the whole country, when this all passes over, we're going to appreciate things much more.
I think the whole country, when this all passes over, we're going to appreciate things much more.Darcy Tucker
"I'm obviously struggling a bit without footy.
"We had a long pre-season and that's probably the most disappointing part. We were all eager to go, and fit and firing, but it just feels like we're in an off-season at the moment, and not a fun off-season.
"We're all a bit down, but we're hoping for the best case scenario, and hoping games are resumed when they're aiming for in a couple of months."
- The day without football and netball in the Wimmera was a gloomy one
- Storms cause flooding and damage at Stawell and Ararat
- Players trying to stay fit and connected amid coronavirus pandemic
- Horsham's 'pay it forward' plan provides coffee to health workers during coronavirus outbreak
- Wimmera Regional Sports Assembly and sporting clubs unite amid coronavirus hardship
Before the season was delayed, Tucker experienced what is sure to be one of the most memorable rounds in AFL history.
Fans were not allowed to attend matches in round one, as the Dockers lost by six points to Essendon in front of 53,359 empty seats at Marvel Stadium.
"It was very weird to be honest," Tucker said.
"Even the build-up to it, I think that week it was pretty much day-by-day. Different rules were coming in and everyone was thinking, 'Are we or aren't we going to play?
"Then obviously playing without the crowd - I suppose when we got going, it was like any game of footy, but it sort of felt like we were playing a game at training or a practice game.
"Fans are a huge part of our game, so it was weird without them.
"Hopefully when we do resume games, fans are back as quick as possible, because I think the games will be pumping when it comes back."
Tucker finished with 23 disposals in round one - the third most in the match behind only Dockers skipper Nathan Fyfe and Essendon star Dylan Shiel.
Tucker's stellar performance was reflective of what might be a permanent move into the midfield in his fifth season with the Dockers.
"A few tagging roles last year got me a sniff in the midfield and I was rotating half-forward last year, but this year I was training full-time midfield and I was prepared to have a big year," Tucker said.
"Obviously it's disappointing with the circumstances, but getting let off in the midfield (when football is back) would be good, I feel like that's where I play my best footy."
It is a dramatic change from the defensive role Tucker played last season that earned him praise from teammate Nathan Fyfe at the 2019 Brownlow Medal.
After winning his second Brownlow, Fyfe thanked Tucker and teammate Reece Conca during his acceptance speech for their defensive work in the midfield.
"It put a bit of a smile on my face," Tucker said. "I wasn't expecting it at all.
"Obviously during the year you don't realise how much players like Fyfey appreciate role players like me.
"It's awesome that he appreciated that, and that's the type of bloke he is. He's very humble."
While you're with us, you can now receive updates straight to your inbox twice weekly from the Wimmera Mail-Times. To make sure you're up-to-date with all the news from across the Wimmera, sign up below.