Coleambally believe AFL Riverina should have made the tough call this week to shut down the Farrer League competition, rather than leave it up to clubs to have to decide.
Blues president Glen Tooth said his club has no doubt it made the right decision in pulling out of the competition on Wednesday night, 24 hours after an AFL Riverina board meeting elected to push on towards starting the Farrer and Riverina Leagues on Saturday week.
"It was unanimous (as a club). It was still a hard decision because we want to play footy, the players want to play. But when it comes down to community safety - that's the crux of it all," Tooth said.
"With the Covid situation down south (in Victoria)... for the safety of players, we don't know where people are going during the week. That was our point for the last 10 days, that AFL Riverina can't keep track of everyone during the week, and nor should they have to either."
Coleambally's concerns were that the influx of players from leagues on the Victorian border were going to create an unbalanced competition but also elevated the safety risk given Melbourne's coronavirus crisis.
They believed the closure of the NSW/Victorian border earlier this week vindicated their worries, as well as coronavirus cases emerging in southern NSW towns.
AFL Riverina resolved on Tuesday night to develop a policy to ban Victorian residents for the season.
"We were hoping they would (cancel the season)," Tooth said.
"We were very disappointed that they haven't gone that way. And in a lack of communication. We didn't hear anything back from their meeting until 4.30pm on Wednesday so we didn't know what had come out."
Coleambally then had their own meeting and made the unilateral decision to withdraw, joining Barellan on the sidelines.
"We didn't want our club to be the one that forced the hand of the competition and we didn't want our players to think we were letting them down, that's why we hung on and hoped things would've changed," Tooth said.
The workload on club volunteers was another factor in Coleambally's decision.
Tooth said there's been local support for their position.
"The reaction has been positive. We'd had various members of the community come and tell us that they can't go to the footy and they won't go to the footy because you just don't know if and when something might happen." Tooth said.
"It made it difficult to know what to do. That's why we left it until late. It was a hard decision but it was easy in the end. If it had just been the Farrer League players, and players we already knew we there at the start, it might've been different."