Ararat Eagles president Nats McRoberts has expressed his disappointment after the club's senior side gave a forfeit at the weekend.
The Eagles were scheduled to take on Tatyoon away from home but were forced to forfeit the match when "only a dozen or so" senior players turned up for the match.
McRoberts said the club had organised players for both the senior and reserves round 11 match the night before and believed they would be fielding two teams on Saturday.
"Everyone was good to go after our weekly ringaround on Friday night," he said.
"We had about seven or eight reserves not turn up so there were a few senior guys who said they were happy to double up."
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McRoberts said he was umpiring the reserves match when early in the last quarter he was informed of the lack of senior players.
"Early in the last quarter I was told only half a dozen guys arrived to play senior footy. With those guys and a few others we got together we had about 12 players all up," he said.
"We had a chat Tatyoon and they were good enough to offer four players to assist to get a game going ahead but in all honesty it didn't sit comfortably with everyone.
...to be treated like that was hard to swallow- Nats McRoberts
"The game was forfeited on our behalf and the footballers were done and dusted for the day."
McRoberts said it was a "pretty embarrassing" position to be put in.
"Our apologies go to the Tatyoon footy club, they handled it all with class," he said.
"It is frustrating for blokes just to not inform anyone they wouldn't be playing. If we knew the situation we could have forfeited the reserves and just played our senior match.
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"In the end you have to worry about filling your top team so it is incredibly disappointing to have forfeited a senior game."
It has been a turbulent year for the Eagles who nearly folded at the start of the season due to a lack of players and senior coach.
McRoberts, who was a key driver in helping the club forward again this year, said the forfeit was a "blight on the club".
"The big picture is the whole club is affected," he said.
"For guys not to roll up on the day was a total disgrace, just total selfishness.
"A lot of people have put in a lot of work for many years and to be treated like that was hard to swallow."
The Eagles have a week off next week. McRoberts said the club will assess where things are at.
"If it gets to point where players can't be reliable we might just have to just focus on the seniors, which is not how we want to go," he said.
"As a whole we will still keep pushing ahead and endeavour to put two teams on the park each week."
McRoberts said the club received a please explain from the league.
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