GANMAIN-Grong Grong-Matong insist a 'locals first' philosophy may make it difficult to find room for Liam Delahunty on their list after the AFL draft prospect began training with the club last week.
The Coolamon product reached out to the Lions after the Hoppers opted not to compete in this year's AFL Riverina Championship.
The 19-year-old tall utility is keen to play some football to keep fit and give himself an avenue to impress the right people ahead of the AFL Draft after he was considered unlucky to be overlooked last year.
Ganmain-Grong Grong-Matong president Jason Hamblin said the club had two "non negotiables" for the coronarivus-shortened season - to negotiate only with players they had spoken to previously, or Lions juniors.
Delahunty doesn't fall in either category, but the club have left the door ajar by confirming they want Delahunty to prove he wants to be a part of the club so the non-negotiable can be waived.
"He's still trying to get onto an AFL list and i said you can train with us as much as you want," Hamblin said.
"Our list is full, I'm about promoting our locals who have done a seven-month pre-season. All the blokes who have come to the club we've talked to in previous years.
"There's always a chance, I've just got to talk to the player group and see where we're at, but at this stage it would be a no.
"It depends how well Liam trains and buys into our culture. As a football community we want him to succeed and to promote the region here."
Delahunty was set to play in Melbourne's NAB League with Northern Knights this year, and an offer from North Melbourne's VFL team to assist in his rehabilitation of a knee injury was another factor.
Now those competitions are cancelled he intends to contact the GWS Giants Academy, which he was involved with last year, in an attempt to get a start in the Northern Academy Series next month.
The series will feature the Giants, Sydney Swans, Brisbane Lions and Gold Coast Suns Academies, as well as Northern Territory.
"I don't know if I'll play out there (Ganmain) this year, they've said they've got a pretty full list but hopefully I can fit in a couple of weeks," Delahunty said.
"I'm going to try to talk to the GWS Academy and see if I can get a few sessions there.
The best case scenario is I get a few (games) in at Ganmain, but I don't know.
"They've got a few local boys keen to get a game and don't want others coming in, it's understandable."
Delahunty said he plans to return to Victoria once the coronavirus situation improves in the state.
"I've got a job and my own place down there, hopefully I can head back after lockdown once it settles down a bit."