Collingwood star Steele Sidebottom is hoping the AFL will seriously consider easing strict coronavirus restrictions for players after round two.
As state governments start to wind back COVID-19 lockdown rules, footballers are still effectively housebound to ensure the safe resumption of the AFL season.
There is only a select number of reasons players can leave their house, the obvious ones being to train and play.
They are banned from seeing friends and family members they don’t live with, and cannot take part in popular leisure activities like golf and surfing.
The AFL has threatened serious penalties – including deregistration – for players caught breaking the rules and potentially exposing themselves, and other players, to COVID-19.
But the AFL and players’ association have agreed to a review of biosecurity protocols after this weekend’s season restart.
Sidebottom understands why restrictions need to be in place, but hopes some can soon be lifted to help with the mental wellbeing of players.
“We go to footy and then come home and you’re stuck at home unless you need to go to the supermarket or whatever,” he told AAP.
“I guess because the restrictions are starting to ease for the rest of the populations and ours sort of went the other way. It’s been tough but we’ll get through it.
“They’ve sort of said it all along that they’re going to review the rules after our first game back so let’s hope we can at least go and see family or have them come over here because it’s obviously getting harder.”
The two-time Copeland Trophy winner was Collingwood’s representative in Monday’s Big Freeze 6 for FightMND, dressing up as notorious bushranger Ned Kelly for the ice challenge.