AFLPA President Patrick Dangerfield admits sympathy for footballers who will be forced to relocate to resume AFL season
Patrick Dangerfield says footballers are prepared to cope with strict social gathering restrictions to ensure the AFL season resumes.
The AFL has ordered all players and staff to undergo COVID-19 tests before a planned return to training, as soon as Monday.
The league’s entire playing group will get a better understanding of what to expect when the competition does restart after they meet with AFL Players Association boss Paul Marsh on Wednesday.
It’s understood players will be told of strict protocols around social gatherings despite coronavirus restrictions beginning to ease around Australia.
“If that’s what we’ve got to do, then that’s what we’ll do,” Geelong superstar Dangerfield, the AFLPA’s president, told SEN.
“We’ve got a responsibility and we understand where the game’s at, and we want to get back to playing.
“If that means a certain level of extra caution of how players live their lives then we’re prepared for that.”
South Australian and Western Australian clubs may still need to relocate interstate if they can’t get fly-in, fly-out exemptions from their state governments.
“I do (feel for the SA and WA clubs)...and this is one of the issues we’re working through,” Dangerfield said.
“Just because you start in a certain circumstance doesn’t mean it will end like that.”
The 2016 Brownlow medallist said players were just relieved the worst-case scenario of long-term stays in quarantine hubs has been avoided.
“This is clearly, clearly better than that,” Dangerfield said.
“We’ll do our very best to make sure we’re prepared and ready to play; if that means it’s an imposition in terms of your daily living, that’s what it’s got to be.
“We realise how many people and jobs rely upon us resuming.”