On any given day 22 players are required to fill a senior football team.
Multiply that by two for a reserves side and factor in that not every player is going to be available every week and your looking at 50-plus footballers required by football clubs every season.
In rural areas where populations are dwindling this is getting harder and harder to do, with not as many local players to choose from.
Ultimately, this is why recruitment has become such a major aspect of running a country football club.
Most people are familiar with how much research and time professional football clubs devote to recruitment, but many wouldn't realise the lengths rural teams dedicate to attracting players.
These clubs don't have a team of ten paid scouts, travelling around the country on the company dime and instead rely on volunteers to put in the work.
Coach of the Great Western Lions in the Mininera League Matt Delzotto said his club use their recent success to attract recruits.
After years languishing at the bottom of the table the Lions won the 2019 premiership and were sitting third in 2021 before the season was cancelled.
"We push where the club's been and how we've reinvigorated ourselves to a point where we are quite successful," Delzotto said.
As far as actually targeting players the Lions are similar to Dimboola in that they use the connections of their current players.
"We work through a lot of our contacts within the club as well as trying to look around the local area for any talent throughout that current season," Delzotto said.
"The process from there is just trying to get in contact with them by any means that you can and try to have a chat with them about where our clubs at and what we do."
The Lions are also lucky enough to have a good relationship with the Tiwi Bombers in the Northern Football League that has led to several Bombers signing for them.
Two that come to mind are premiership players Steven Lorenzo and Bradley Palipuaminni, who both played key roles in the Lions' 2019 flag.
"Our captain Nigel Sibson has spent quite a few years playing for the Tiwi Bombers and he formed a really strong relationship with a lot of the guys up there.
"Essentially it's constant contact with a group of guys between Nigel and some guys up there that might be looking for an opportunity to come down South for a year."
Dimboola senior football coach Justin Beugelaar knows all too well the effort that goes into recruitment.
"It's It's a mountain of work," Beugelaar said.
"Luckily enough in my position I've got the best football director in the land in Luke Hutchinson.
"He would be sending 200-plus messages on Facebook a week to players.
"He does a power of work and on my side of it, I use a lot of my contacts directly out of the Northern Territory and guys I've played with so that's where we sort of start first with building our list."
This year Dimboola were on the verge of making a drought-breaking finals appearance before the season was abandoned.
As a small-town club, recruitment and retention were quintessential to their improvement in 2021.
Beugelaar admitted that without (external) recruiting clubs wouldn't function and said the Roos have a formula of targeting a certain type of player.
"My mentality is we always recruit a person first before we recruit the footballer," he said.
"It doesn't matter how good a footballer you are, if you come in and you're a cancerous player or person it filters through the club and it wrecks you.
"I have a phone conversation with players and basically just tell them on no uncertain terms that we don't want dickheads at our club.
"The blokes that we've had on board the last couple of years have just proven that track record that we recruit the person first."
Clubs also have to be mindful of salary caps and the player points system when it comes to recruitment.
According to Beugelaar, Dimboola place a big focus on retention because player points drop the longer a player stays with a club.
The Roos coach said however that in the past these issues haven't been a problem for the club.
"Going into next year it's becoming a factor," he said.
"Our first recruiting measure is to retain our local players especially our kids coming through.
"We've done that, we've got some kids coming through which is good and we just top up with some elite players around them.
Money is also the obvious factor that helps football club's recruit new and quality players.
Some clubs won't have the same finances as others so are already at a disadvantage and this is where these clubs have to add emphasis on aspects like culture to appeal to potential recruits.
Eventually this could in turn lead to success and then more money through sponsorships, etc.
Regardless, the declining trend of rural populations doesn't look like stopping anytime soon, so recruitment will continue to play a major part in teams' ability to survive and flourish.
Teams that make shrewder decisions around player recruitment and retention, through the tireless work of volunteers will be better off.
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