Dubbo Demons president Nick Lowther feels it is time AFL Central West takes stock of its women's competition after his club's side was forced to fold just weeks out from the new season.
The Demons won last season's premiership but the news of the side's massive fall from grace was confirmed on Wednesday night.
An exodus of players, as well as the inability of others to commit week in, week out left the club to decide whether it take a year off to restructure, or do what it can with only a handful on the field each week.
"It's disappointing but it would have been much more disappointing pull out halfway through the season after just limping along," Lowther said.
If we had played on it could have caused more damage.Dubbo president Nick Lowther
"We pride ourselves on how we are presented and it's better to rebuild and get the correct structure.
The huge number of players who have moved away from Dubbo - headlined by former competition best and fairest winner Emily Warner, as well as Matilda Asser, Trudy Sloane, Caroline McGrath and last season's coach Ebony Mackey - took a huge toll but Lowther said there was more to the decision.
The amount of travel the Dubbo team has to undertake was another aspect, with five hour round trips to the likes of Bathurst and Cowra a common occurrence.
There are also costs involved in travel, while a number of other female sports in Dubbo have taken off in recent years and put a strain on numbers in AFL.
Lowther said discussion with the AFL Central West had been ongoing for a number of weeks in relation to the Demons' numbers problem and while he said the governing body had assisted in trying to recruit numbers, he added it was time to look at the way things are run to ensure a Dubbo side returns to competition in 2020.
"I think we need to recognise the current model doesn't work," Lowther said.
"AFL Central West has got to get more women playing locally to help remove barriers like cost and travel.
If you look back at 2015 the options for competitions in women's sport was limited and now everyone is spoiled for choice.Dubbo president Nick Lowther
"People love it when they're playing but there are those larger barriers.
"The greatest hit to us is a real benefit for other sports. There's been local rugby union, local league tag, and tackle league. As well as soccer, as always.
"It's great for those sports but they're all more locally-based. There's not an issue with our sport, the issue is we have to adapt and find how we fit in.
"If you look back at 2015 the options for competitions in women's sport was limited and now everyone is spoiled for choice."
Lowther was of the belief no women's side in the competition was booming with numbers, adding to his desire to see action taken to address the issue.
As for the 2019 season, only five sides now remain in the women's competition.
A number of the Demons players who had been taking part in pre-season and working to form a team this season are now set to link with the Parkes Panthers.
"When you lose a core group of players it's about how you rebuild," Lowther said.
"We had people interested but we didn't have that core group that could commit week in, week out and that's what you need at this level.
"We had received 10 new players during the off-season and they've been training but a lot of them will go to Parkes now and that's good for that side."
Round one of the Central West AFL women's competition is Saturday, April 27.