ARARAT Storm have not fielded a side in the Western Victoria Female Football League 2022 season.
The club were campaigning for both a junior and senior team to be in the competition and were actively recruiting during preseason to boost numbers.
Western Victoria Female Football League administrator Michael Farrow said the club advised the league they had done everything within their power to recruit players before the season started.
"They couldn't get enough players to keep a team in the league in 2022," he said.
"They'll do everything they can possibly to recruit through this season and into next year."
Other clubs have also withdrawn teams from the league in 2022 including junior Stawell and Old Collegians teams and Portland senior team to name a few.
"We're putting it down to years of stop start football with COVID," he said.
"Players are unsure with where they are going to be has certainly put a bit of pressure on clubs on containing their players from previous years.
"But they're all dedicated to keep their women's program going so all the clubs are getting prepared for the season in 2023."
The Ararat Advertiser reached out to the Ararat Rural City Council to clarify if any of the $3.1 million worth of upgrades for the Gordon Street Recreation Reserve were in jeopardy due to the club not fielding teams in this year's season. At the time, they did not wish to comment on this occasion.
In May 2021 when the funding was announced it was stated the redevelopment would include female-friendly change facilities among other upgrades.
The redevelopment would ensure the facilities fully meet AFLW standards.
At the time, Ararat Rural City Council chief executive Dr Tim Harrison said the redevelopment would hugely benefit women's sport.
"The Gordon Street Redevelopment establishes Ararat as the home of the AFLW in regional Victoria, providing the Ararat Storm Female Football Club with the training and playing facilities they need to grow," he said at the time. "Too often, women and girls don't have access to safe and inclusive change amenities or premium competition ovals."
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