There were no Farrer League finals played this season, no premierships won.
But it wasn't in vain. After the non-season of 2020, the return of football and netball was valued by club communities. They're powered by volunteers who, in turn, hope to help their team thrive.
It can be difficult to quantify how much it means. But if you're looking for an answer, begin by asking The Rock-Yerong Creek's Brodie Moore.
For starters, he's walking two-feet taller since receiving the Magpies' volunteer of the year award.
"Ohhh, stoked! Absolutely stoked," Moore says, with the broadest of smiles.
"It's a big honour."
Moore, 46, was recognised for his services as a goal umpire.
"I've been involved with The Rock for over 39 years. Dad (Colin) was president from 1991 to 1993," he says.
"And my older brother Nick played in two premierships, in 1997 and 1998 under the great captain-coach Gregory Brain.
"I've been goal umpiring since 2016. Bob Driscoll asked me would I like to take over and I said, 'Yep'.
"You know what? I haven't looked back since. What do I like about it? I like keeping all these North Wagga blokes in line because when we play North Wagga, they keep telling me, 'put your glasses on, you're blind, you can't see'.
"I say, 'Righto mate, one more word and guess what, I'll be putting you on report'."
Moore remembers it was against Marrar the day before Anzac Day that he was in the Record as the club's recipient. But he was excited still, months later, to be formally recognised at their presentation day.
Having a role on game day is a buzz for Brodie but it's the social side he values most. Seeing TRYC perform, as they did this year (third), is a bonus.
"It was a pretty good season. I don't think we would've beaten Marrar (in finals) but I reckon we would've beaten East Wagga," he says.
Moore's enthusiasm for football is infectious.
"It's a huge part of my life. I tell you, when they cancelled finals last season, I was absolutely devastated," Moore said.
"Missing the social side, the goal umpiring... and every Thursday night when I go and watch them train."
(For the sausage sandwiches? "No, better than that: Bobby Driscoll's specially-cooked chicken schnitzel and gravy sandwiches.")
"I love going to the footy and talking all the bull with the committee and the players. So when this COVID hit, I was pretty upset."
While Moore was recognised for his volunteer efforts, Dean Biermann was the 'Pies best and fairest.
"He's a gun. In the best-and-fairest, Dean Biermann had 64 votes to Riley Budd's 56 so the two Canberra guys dominated - not only The Rock but the competition," Moore says.
He firmly believes the 'Pies will be a force next year.
"We've got the big forward James Roberts coming and Riley Budd's brother Noah," he says.
"So I'm expecting The Rock-Yerong Creek to finish top three again and hopefully, if everything goes good, they'll be playing in the grand final.
"Here's my top five: East Wagga, one. The Rock-Yerong Creek two. Marrar will be up there. Temora move up to fourth and the Northern Jets fifth again."
Moore played some forward pocket in the under 18s and seconds at the Magpies ("I kicked over 56 goals").
Now, he counts himself as one of many valued volunteers at Victoria Park, just as there are throughout all clubs. Talking football with him is like listening to a who's who at TRYC.
"My best ever The Rock player is a bloke up in heaven now, Mark 'Grunta' O'Leary. He was skilful and he was hard at the ball," he says, then revels in re-telling of a semi-final showdown between the late, fearsome ruckman and North Wagga hard man Dick Carey.
The 'Pies premierships have been memorable, none more so than their most recent, the against-all-odds win over EWK.
"One of the best I've watched was 2015 when Andy Carey broke his leg in the first quarter and he sat in the goal square playing on one leg," Moore says.
"The best part about it, we were down (all day), and we beat East Wagga 12.4.76 to 10.10.70."
Moore will spend his summer focussing on cricket, after joining South Wagga's fourth grade side for a season in Wagga cricket. His heart is always at Victoria Park, but don't count on seeing him in the pre-season.
"No! God, no. I don't go to practice games. Theyr'e called practice games and that's what it is. No-one's serious about it, everyone's still into their summer sport - their cricket, and fishing and camping."
But he'll be there again when it gets real, and another season unfolds, powered by untold volunteer hours.
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