No booze ban: West Coast coach Adam Simpson back players to do the right thing during AFL's coronavirus shutdown
Adam Simpson won’t enforce an alcohol ban during the AFL’s coronavirus shutdown, insisting he trusts his players to do the right thing.
The West Coast premiership coach admits it has been difficult to maintain a galvanised group through the unprecedented situation, but they were finding a way.
Like the rest of the competition, the Eagles haven’t been able to train together since their opening round, when they beat Melbourne at Optus Stadium on March 22.
The initial May 31 resumption is looking increasingly unlikely, which means the make-up of the 2020 season is a great unknown.
Speaking on 7News, Simpson said he was constantly learning different ways to stay in touch with his players without the face-to-face contact.
“We’re using all the platforms, we’re learning every day ourselves about how we communicate,” Simpson, pictured, said.
“It started with phone calls, then texts, now Zoom has kicked in and WhatsApp groups.
“We’re trying to stay connected and engaged as much as we can through this situation.
“We’re normally really galvanised and become really tight as a group, but we’ve got to try and do that with remote access.
“It’s been quite difficult but we’re finding a way.”
North Melbourne pair Nick Larkey and Cam Zurhaar got themselves in hot water after throwing a party last month and ignoring social-distancing advice, likewise with Geelong vice-captain Mark Blicavs.
But Simpson backed his team to stay out of trouble.
“They’re elite athletes and we’ve probably gone past setting rules and regulations,” he said.
“They know the right thing to do and we’ll back them in to do the right thing.”
Simpson said the “general feel” was that he would get his players back for three to four weeks before their next match, but nothing was set in stone.
“What mode are they in right now? That’s the question we’re all asking,” Simpson said.
“We’ve got remote programs, probably a little bit like a pre-Christmas feel. How long are we going to doing this for and how long is it going to take to be ready for an AFL match is probably the next question.”