Kaniva-Leeor United president Jason Gordon said the club is "relieved, grateful and excited" to secure a position in the Horsham District football league.
League stakeholders voted in favour of Kaniva-Leeor United joining the league at a special meeting on Thursday night.
Mr Gordon said it was fantastic to reach a positive decision after a year of turmoil.
"I'm really upbeat now that we have a direction to go in," he said.
"We know there's still work ahead, but we're really grateful to have a league and to be accepted."
The Cougars will cross from the Kowree-Naracoorte-Tatiara league, ending a near 100-year association with the football-netball league.
The decision to switch leagues came from concerns with the South Australian border.
All border restrictions were scrapped on Thursday, but the club was concerned a hard border could be reinforced at any time.
Mr Gordon said the situation in New South Wales, with a new outbreak growing to 28 positive cases of COVID-19 on Friday, showed how fragile state borders were.
"If you look at Western Australia shutting their borders to New South Wales a week before Christmas, you can't help but think, 'What if that happened in Adelaide?'" he said.
"These outbreaks will not stop next year, and that was a key reason for us to seek refuge in Victoria.
"But beyond that, I have been president for going on six years, and we have regularly spoken with AFL Victoria about playing in Victoria, because we think it's a good fit for our club.
"We really look forward to playing in the HDFNL, which we see as a really community-oriented, family fun environment for the people of our district to enjoy."
Mr Gordon said the club's attention now turned toward getting competitive teams ready for 2021.
"We've got a really good executive team on board for the football department," he said.
"We know it's going to be a hurdle not getting players from South Australia, but we've been able to recruit really well in the past, and this is another challenge to get over.
"We've been in contact with a significant number of players that used to play with us in the past, and we're hopeful of having a good side together."
In addition to new recruits, Mr Gordon said a change in leagues could also excite existing players.
"The first 10 weeks of the season, we're going to be playing against clubs we've never played against before - I think that could really reinvigorate the boys," he said.
"We'll have new challenges and new people. Playing against a club like Harrow-Balmoral or Kalkee, they're someone you've watched from afar and often wondered, 'How would we go against them?'
"Now we can find out.
"We play Kalkee first up at Kaniva, and we can't wait for the people of Kalkee to come to our community hub at the recreation reserve and enjoy what we have to offer.
"It's an exciting time."
Mr Gordon also made special thanks to AFL Wimmera-Mallee's Jason Muldoon, the Horsham District league board, and the league's existing 11 clubs for their ongoing support.
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