AFL clubs to resume training on Monday

AFL clubs will head back to training on Monday, with chief executive Gillon McLachlan set to unveil the league’s 2020 season relaunch plans.

The league has called a press conference for 12.45pm at Marvel Stadium on Friday where McLachlan will outline further details on how and when the 17-round regular season will resume.

But McLachlan says the new fixture won’t be released until next week.

The competition was suspended on March 22 amid the COVID-19 pandemic after just one completed round.

Players will resume modified training on Monday before stepping up into full contact drills on May 25, McLachlan confirmed.

“Every club will be training out of its home base in their home states for a week,” he told 3AW.

“We’ll be able to go to contact training twice a week after (COVID-19) testing from the 25th of May.

“It will be training for a few weeks, enough to make sure the players, clubs and coaches have the right body of work to play matches without significant risk of injury.

“Some games flying in and out, some in villages so we will have to be agile and flexible.

“The fixture is going to be determined by the model we landed in with a combination of fly-in, fly-out and hubs.”

It follows weeks of negotiations between the league, state governments and health officials around steps towards the return of the AFL season, which was put on hold because of the coronavirus outbreak.

Existing restrictions in Western Australia and South Australia have dictated that West Coast, Fremantle, Adelaide and Port Adelaide will temporarily relocate to Queensland hubs.

SA clubs will be in their Gold Coast-based hubs before May 25 because of their home state’s refusal to grant them special training exemptions from current restrictions.

The temporary relocations mean the WA and SA clubs will be at what Port Adelaide chairman David Koch described as a “significant disadvantage”.

But with those states’ restrictions in place and a desire from the AFL to play the remaining 144 matches as soon as possible, there are few other realistic options available.

West Coast captain Luke Shuey said his club was prepared to do what they had to for the sake of the competition.

“We realise we’re going to have to travel at some stage and be away for a certain amount of time,” Shuey told Fox Footy.

“Fortunately for us we’re used to travelling, albeit not for up to four or five or six weeks.”

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