The Narooma Devils are still in the hunt for premiership glory in 2021, but the side is starting to look towards 2022 just in case the season is called off due to ongoing COVID-19 lockdown.
The competition is now faced with having at least a month of football after the statewide lockdown was extended to September 10, and would need mandatory training time if the lockdown was lifted at the earliest stage possible.
Group 16 has announced they will not play games any later than the October long weekend, and still have three weeks of the finals to play.
Narooma beat Moruya in a major semi final on August 8, and were scheduled to play Merimbula-Pambula for a spot in the grand final the following weekend.
Devils coach Clint Wright said the players hadn't trained together since Friday, August 13, a day before the statewide lockdown was announced.
"We found out (the competition would be paused) on the Friday," he said.
"There were a few players from Merimbula and Cooma who had been to Canberra the weekend before, so the group postponed before the lockdown was announced.
"We met at training on the Friday night, and then went into lockdown on the Saturday."
Wright, who returned to playing this season with his brothers Todd and Lance after several seasons off with injury, said the first-grade side was remaining in contact through a group chat on social media.
"I've been encouraging them all to stay fit and ready, because we don't know what'll happen," he said.
"Everyone just wants to play, because we're excited about what could happen this season.
"We were all disappointed when they postponed, and Merimbula's the only side we haven't beaten this season, so we wanted a chance to prove ourselves.
"We strongly believe we have the team to win a premiership, so we don't want it to get this far only to have it stop, we'd rather lose and find out that way, but we think we can be the best team, and we want to prove it."
Although the first-grade side is dotted with experienced players, Wright didn't believe there would be too much change for the 2022 season.
"Earlier on this year I thought we might lose a few players if we won the comp, but I think everyone's really enjoying winning together," he said.
"We've always played hard and had some big battles together, and we're really enjoying it this year.
"We may lose one or two if we do win, but everyone's enjoying playing with a good bunch of lads, and we're really loving it."