All community AFL has been postponed until May 31 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which Goulburn Swans coach Simon Treloar said was "disappointing but very important."
Community AFL is yet another sport which has had its season truncated by the virus, which as of March 29 has 1,791 confirmed cases in NSW and 71 in the ACT, nearly half of the nationwide total of 3,809.
The AFL Canberra Men's Fourth Grade season was originally scheduled to get underway on April 4. The delay will cause eight rounds, nearly half the season, to be missed.
"With everything that's going on with COVID-19, health and safety is the most important thing at the end of the day for anyone involved with AFL Canberra and the Goulburn Swans," Treloar said.
"That's our main priority with the postponement, that everyone stays healthy."
Prior to the delay, the Swans had been busily preparing for their return to the fourth grade competition.
Having played in the newly-formed regional competition last year, which has since been dissolved, the Swans had been focusing on improving their fitness in the off-season.
Though the team will continue to exercise individually while the government lockdown is in effect, Treloar said it was paramount for the players to look after their personal lives first and foremost.
"Do your own thing at the moment, keep as healthy as possible and keep doing a bit of exercise at home," he said.
"But obviously it's a bit difficult. Everyone's got a lot of stuff going on, with lots of people losing their jobs and other pressure in life.
"Make sure you're healthy, but at the same time keep in touch with everyone and make sure they're going alright."
The rate at which the coronavirus is spreading and the danger it poses has left Treloar in no doubt that AFL Canberra made the right decision to suspend the season.
"I personally think it's the right decision that's been made to postpone the season," he said.
"Let it run its course and see what happens come the end of May."
In a statement, the AFL said it is "determined to be part of the whole of community response to slow the COVID-19 virus down - and in doing so, help the broader community and our health systems manage the situation as effectively as possible.
"The recommendation [to postpone the season] was collectively agreed upon based on the nature of shared public facilities across community football clubs and the health and safety of our volunteer network."
The AFL has also promised to review its position regularly and update the community as soon as possible.
Should the season restart again on the next scheduled round, June 4, the Swans will have a bye.
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