BARELLAN have withdrawn from the Farrer League this season.
The Two Blues informed AFL Riverina and Farrer League clubs of their decision at a meeting on Tuesday night.
Barellan is the first AFL Riverina club to pull the pin on the shortened 2020 season and will be the only one to do so after the remaining 17 clubs all committed to the year.
Barellan president Jeff Mickan said the club was unable to find the player numbers to go ahead with the mid-July start.
"Primarily we went around our playing group and couldn't get enough interest to get a list together," Mickan said.
"A secondary thing was there was a bit of committee concern around dealing with the virus and implications I guess. Although in saying that, listening to the meeting last night it sounded like things were pretty well ticked off I thought by the AFL or the government.
"We're a club that relies on every playing number we can get and it sort of just upset the momentum. We had a pretty solid pre-season up until the restrictions came in and everyone sort of shut up shop, not everyone, but most.
"There's players there that would play, some that want to, some that would if we got going but there's some that don't and it just tips us over the edge where we just haven't got the numbers.
"If we had a longer playing list it might have been a different story."
Mickan said the club's focus will now turn to ensuring the Two Blues return in 2021.
"It wasn't an easy thing to decide on and we also recognise we need to be upbeat about going forward from here," he said.
"I've got no doubt if this was in March, if we were in March right now talking about trying to get a season up in the same circumstances we would be right but it's just that players, maybe they wanted a year off and this is a good chance to do it, or they have lost interest.
"Going forward, we're definitely confident of being as normal next year."
AFL Riverina chairman Michael Irons was understanding of Barellan's position and said they will support the Two Blues to make sure they return to the Farrer League next year.
"We understand the concerns of Barellan and appreciate their circumstances and will continue to work with them to plan towards 2021," Irons said.
"Look, we don't want to lose any club from our competitions and we've always said no club will be penalised if they decided they couldn't participate this year. "
The Farrer League will now drop to an eight-team competition this season.
It will still begin on July 18, but is now likely to finish with a grand final on September 26, a week earlier than the October long weekend that it was originally scheduled for.
"We'll look to do a revised draw and submit that to clubs in the next couple of days for them to consider," Irons said.
"We will put a couple of options to clubs because with an eight-team comp and everyone playing everyone once there's going to be an imbalance of home and away games so we need to consider that given the financial pressures that clubs are already facing.
"They had already been planning on four home games so we need to look at what we can do to rectify that."