CALLS have been made for footballers to show loyalty to their clubs after a year without football.
With both the Horsham District league and Wimmera league cancelled this year, some have suggested players should stay with the clubs they signed to for another season, rather than testing the market.
Minyip-Murtoa president Scott Arnold said if it suited a player's personal circumstances, they should consider extending their commitment.
"Guys that have been recruited to clubs, you'd like to hope there's a sense of unfinished business," Mr Arnold said.
"I actually hope that within the footy community, people who had signed for a 2020 that actually never happened, see it as a continuance into next season.
"I like to hope there won't be massive movement in football lists. I think as players, that wouldn't be the right thing to do."
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Mr Arnold however acknowledged that loyalty would not be possible for everyone.
"Clearly after COVID there's going to be some changes in work situations and so forth," he said. "But in general I'd like to hope that if people committed to a club for 2020, they'll continue that."
Ararat Rats president David Hosking said while it was an interesting thought, it was unrealistic to expect players to remain with the same club.
"It could be a nice thing, and while I'd love all of our guys to stick around for next year, is that a realistic expectation?" he said.
"Guys signed a contract in late 2019 or early 2020 for the next season, but they absolutely could not foresee what has happened this year.
"I think there's a lot that can happen in people's lives, and a lot can change 12 months."
Mr Hosking added if some players were to leave due to personal circumstance, it could create holes in the playing list that need to be filled.
"You've got to be realistic," he said. "Ultimately, it's a free market.
"I won't stand in a player's way if they are set on leaving, and it's likely that we will also be talking to players from other clubs.
"The only person I would say that we definitely know will go around with us next year is our senior coach, Matt Walder, because we signed him on a two-year deal.
"Apart from that, we're pretty much starting again."
Rupanyup were one of the biggest movers in the off-season, signing a handful of highly-touted recruits, including North Central league Feeny medallist Mitchell Gleeson and Northern Territory star Shannon Rioli.
Rupanyup coach Jack Musgrove said he was hopeful most would sign on again.
He said he expected less movement among football circles prior to the 2021 season
"Obviously we're still a long way off for next year, and there are a lot of people not really sure what is going to happen between now and next footy season," he said.
"But I would expect a lot of re-commitment from people, and players just sticking it to where they signed last season."
Mr McRoberts however said he expected player movement to continue continue prior to next season.
"I wouldn't say guys should (be loyal), but I would hope that some look at it that way," he said. "I do believe that we will retain what we've signed up this year.
"But the other thing is too, that if we are expecting blokes to stay loyal to their clubs, is it fair for other clubs to go after them?
"I don't imagine every club is just going to sit on their hands for a year, or not try to get better.
"The reality is, we could potentially end up looking at other club's players that had signed up for 2020."
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