Kaniva-Leeor United is "exploring all options" for the 2021 football-netball season - including changing leagues and a potential merger with a fellow west Wimmera club.
Kaniva-Leeor president Jason Gordon cited border restrictions as the primary concern for next year, with movement still restricted between Victoria and South Australia.
The Cougars are one of the only Victorian clubs to play in the Kowree-Naracoorte-Tatiara League.
Mr Gordon said the border restrictions made it incredibly difficult to sign and re-sign players from South Australia for 2021.
He said the club had roughly 16 players from South Australia playing for the club in 2019.
"The biggest trouble is just the uncertainty of it all. That's the A and B of it," he said.
"People have said to me, 'You would think the borders would be open by next season'. But I'm saying, 'This time last year I didn't even know you could close the borders.' So who knows?
"The state health ministers are running the operation, and until there's a solution to this pandemic, it's all just up in the air.
"It could be locked down again at any moment next year."
Mr Gordon said players were looking for certainty after a year without football and netball.
He said some were concerned if they signed with Kaniva-Leeor and borders were suddenly shut at some stage in 2021, they would be left without many options.
Mr Gordon said it had forced the club to explore the potential of moving leagues and playing in Victoria next season.
"In an ideal world we would be able to continue on as per normal (in the KNTFL)," Mr Gordon said.
"But the playing field has drastically changed."
In addition to potentially losing many footballers from South Australia, Mr Gordon also cited a decreased salary cap, declining population, and a lack of junior numbers as significant issues for 2021.
Mr Gordon said the uncertainty had led to some preliminary discussions with the Nhill and District Sporting Club in regard to joining forces.
He said a merger could potentially be just for the 2021 season - for Kaniva-Leeor United to play in Victoria for a season before returning to the KNTFL - or for the long term.
Nhill also regularly recruit players from South Australia to compete in the Wimmera Football League.
Nhill and District Sporting Club president Ash Dickinson did not want to comment on the situation.
"It's a huge decision and one nobody is taking it lightly," Mr Gordon said.
"Everyone wants different things. It's not easy.
"It's been 25 years since we (Kaniva) merged with Leeor, and that was a very difficult exercise. You have people thinking you're giving up your footy club.
"But these things move rapidly. Say Nhill turned around one day and merged with someone else - where does that leave us?
"This year, we were going to partner with Border Districts for our under-17s, and that was still only going to give us 12 players.
"Right now, our junior contingent would be complemented greatly by an engagement with Nhill."
Mr Gordon said if the club was to leave the KNTFL, his preference would be to play in the Horsham District league.
He said it would help to compete against clubs based in a similar-sized town. Kaniva had a population of 803 at the 2016 census.
Mr Gordon also called on more support from the AFL governing bodies for clubs managing a return to sport in 2021.
"(AFL Wimmera-Mallee area manager) Jason Muldoon and the KNTFL have both been great to us, really excellent in trying to help us out," he said.
"But there needs to be more support from up above."
He suggested that it was an opportune time to make radical changes to improve football-netball across the region.
He said some of the biggest issues were junior numbers, reserves numbers, and the unevenness of leagues, as clubs from small communities often compete against clubs based in bigger towns.
"They really need to have a look - we are the heartland of football out here," he said.
"It's a bloody challenging time for all involved ... and there is a lot of pressure on us right now to be a viable football-netball club."
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