Dubbo Hockey's Tracey Hardie-Jones says the news of the World Cup Masters tournament's postponement is understandable, but it's hard to avoid the feeling of disappointment.
"It is a bit sad, really, I was a little bit devastated when I got the news delivered to me."
Hardie-Jones is just one of many Dubbo Hockey players looking to prove their mettle on representative duty once again this year, with local young gun Ellie Purtell also set to feature in the state's NSW Blues side.
Now, neither will get the chance, not this year at least, and many others won't even be able to trial after selections were cancelled in the face of the COVID-19 outbreak.
"I was really disappointed for everyone from the region that was scheduled to go away for the Nationals competition, I can only imagine how much it hurts for some of the other players to feel that devastation and the disappointment," Hardie-Jones said.
"It's a big thing, because for a lot of them, they're heading into a whole new age group that they've just arrived in."
"I think it was a big impact for us locally, not just having the competition here have to shut down, but our national and state selections that were scheduled for March, then knocked back to May, they've both been cancelled."
"I know I was really training hard for state selection and a lot of the others were too."
While no official date has been set for the World Masters competition to return, organisers are hoping to arrange the event in Cape Town, South Africa where Hardie-Jones was set to play for around the same timeframe next year, in late September.
Keeping up a rigorous training schedule until then, with social distancing rules in effect for the immediate future, will no doubt be tough, but Hardie-Jones says she's committed to the challenge.
"It's not the same, you don't get to see everybody, but other than that, you've just got to keep going and keep working," Hardie-Jones said.
"It does put a lot of the stress and strain on, luckily the people where we train at Red City have provided a lot of resources for us to stay focused and keep on track even at home, I know other athletes like Danny Barber have been in that same sort of position, but we've all just got to keep focused and stay positive."
There is cause for optimism with recent announcements made by various sporting bodies that they plan to return by the end of May.
"I'm hoping Dubbo Hockey will come back soon, seeing that rugby league might start back up at the end of May has given us some hope that we might get a hockey season in this year."