ARARAT Eagles Football Netball Club will enter a senior football team this season after the Mininera league granted it an exemption.
The exemption comes after the club held a crisis meeting last week and voted to avoid going into recession. A lack of players for the 2019 season left the club's future in doubt.
The newly re-appointed president, Nats McRoberts, said the senior football team needed to be the club's priority.
"Without the senior side, unfortunately, the rest of us don't exist," he said.
"Potentially later on we can progress and introduce a reserves side.
"Our aim is to have a full complement of players, including under-16s, but at the moment we have to focus on the seniors."
Wednesday night's training session saw 15 players on the track, which was then followed by a meeting to deliver the news on the exemption.
McRoberts said the club had received plenty of support since the crisis meeting and talks to attract new players continued.
"After the Tuesday meeting (vice president) Oakley (Taylor) contacted about 40 people, and had pretty positive feedback with that," he said.
"At this point in time we're talking to players from Horsham, and we have a couple of blokes down in Melbourne that we're talking to.
"This has happened in the last couple of days.
"I want to assure you that we're not sitting on our a**** - we're doing everything in our power to push this club forward.
"I think the show of faces (tonight) is enough of a reason to push on."
McRoberts told members the club had "fought tooth and nail" to stay together and must continue to stick together.
"I want to look at the positives, and we're trying to retain players," he said.
"No one wants to see another club go down, and our intention is to keep this club afloat.
"We don't want anyone to think maybe now is the time to jump.
"Now is the time to stick together until such time as the season starts."
Eagles stalwart, Stephen Brown, was at the meeting and delivered a strong message to members.
"This is the last remnant of the Ararat District Football Association, which was formed from four church groups," he said.
"It had up to 10 teams at its apex, and we are older than the Ararat Football Club.
"We cannot let it go. We have to fight tooth and nail."
McRoberts said while the future of the club remained uncertain, the committee would likely use the Wednesday night training sessions to keep the club up-to-date with any information.