HANWOOD coach Anthony Agresta fears their Pascoe Cup title defence may be over before it's begun.
Agresta said the prospect of a season being played at all "is not looking real great" as the impact of the coronavirus outbreak on sport began to accelerate in recent days.
The Griffith club won a thrilling grand final over Lake Albert 2-1 in extra time in their return to the Wagga fold last year.
Community soccer has been called off until at least April 14 but it is likely to be far longer than that.
"You're hopeful things can turn around and we'll get going again, but it's not looking real great," Agresta said.
"The way things are going, it's going to get worse before it gets any better and we're not really into winter yet.
"That's when it's probably going to get worse."
Agresta said the uncertainty over when the season may begin is the toughest battle mentally for players.
"It's a hard one. You just have to leave it in the players' hands to keep things ticking over (fitness wise) and do a bit on their own," he said.
"The way things are, and I haven't really spoken to a lot of the guys, but I'd imagine it's pretty hard to stay motivated and keep doing those things.
"That's the hardest thing, not even knowing whether or not there's going to be a starting point. If you knew that it was to start in three or four weeks it'd be easier, but there's so much uncertainty around things at the moment and it's hard to plan ahead."
Agresta said they will field a similar squad to last year should the Pascoe Cup begin.
"Our squad hasn't changed much to last year. We've got a couple of local boys that were coming back from injury and looking alright, but that's all come to a halt," he said.
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