AFL clubs will re-open their doors on Monday as the competition’s players return to small-group training sessions.
Right across the league, players can begin training in groups of eight on Monday, before a return to whole group, full-contact training from Monday May 25.
Collingwood coach Nathan Buckley believes every club will face their own difficulties but he is confident a four-week training period will be enough to prepare his side for football’s June 11 competitive return.
“You’re not going to have a perfect fit,” Buckley told Nine’s Sunday Footy Show.
“You’re not going to be able to have everything ideally prepared from a time perspective, and even from a staffing perspective, given the situation that we’re in
“So every club is going to have to work to their own restraints and constraints to their best fit. I mean, Perth and Adelaide clubs have got different issues to the other 14 clubs in the competition.
“But we feel like a four-week preparation is going to be OK with us – a ‘Level B’ week next week and then three ‘Level C’ weeks at this point leading into that June 11 weekend.
“We’ll be able to get our players up and about well enough.”
Adelaide and Port Adelaide will train in the South Australian capital this week and plan to arrive in their Gold Coast quarantine hubs by May 24 ahead of the return to full training.
There are a range of mechanisms in place targeted at avoiding a COVID-19 outbreak.
Players and officials have already undergone the first of what will soon be twice-weekly coronavirus tests, and they will also face daily health checks.
The AFL is still negotiating with the AFLPA regarding restrictions but players or officials caught breaching regulations will be charged under the AFL’s new “conduct unbecoming” rules and face stiff penalties.
GWS captain Stephen Coniglio believes players will be on their best behaviour to keep the season up and running.
“You don’t want to be the player that slips up, let alone the player that costs everyone else,” Coniglio told ABC’s Offsiders.
“More than ever this AFL season will be won by the team that has the best discipline, and is the most resilient.”