Community football clubs cleared to train

Oliver Caffrey
Community football clubs across the country will resume training in coming weeks

AFL boss Gillon McLachlan is optimistic community football games will return in some form this year amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Local football teams in Victoria and Tasmania have been cleared to recommence training in groups of 10 from May 25.

Clubs will ease back into modified training sessions, but are no closer to knowing when games can get underway.

McLachlan said there was still a chance grassroots football could join the professional men's league in resuming.

"If we keep (COVID-19) transmission at a manageable level, I've got a level of optimism for community football," he told Fox Footy.

"There'll be some sort (of local football), whether it's kids or whatever.

"I know the government want to do that, and it's a bit back to all of us about how we stick to the rules.

"There's certainly an appetite for it and we're working with all the appropriate authorities to see if we can."

Ten players will be able to train together in Victoria and Tasmania, with coaches and support staff not included as part of the total.

Two groups can train on a ground at the same time, but players will need to keep to their designated areas.

"AFL Victoria will release its return to train protocols early next week and is endorsing a return to club sanctioned training from May 25," AFL Victoria community football head Stephen O'Donohue said.

Despite training bans being lifted, extreme doubt lingers if any senior leagues will stage games in 2020.

Country and suburban leagues and clubs have made it clear it would be financially impossible to operate if crowds are barred.

The Northern Territory will allow crowds at competitive sport from June 5, but most states have conceded it is likely fans will be locked out of games until at least late in the year.

Without gate takings, as well as revenue from food and drink sales, most clubs would run at a significant loss if games went ahead.

In Western Australia, community football training will be allowed from May 18 under "set conditions and protocols".

South Australian clubs will be able to resume on Monday in groups of 10.