AFL players are poised to celebrate a big win, with immediate family members set to join them in Queensland team hubs ahead of the 2020 season restart next month.
Players being kept away from their families for long periods of time was a major sticking point when the AFL put a ‘worst-case’ hub scenario to the AFL Players’ Association last month.
But the easing of some state government coronavirus restrictions since then means that only four clubs – West Coast, Fremantle, Adelaide and Port Adelaide – will be required to enter hubs in order to restart the season.
In a deal struck between the AFL and AFLPA, players from those clubs should learn on Friday that their families are also welcome in those hubs.
“I think the AFL will probably come to the party on that,” Eagles captain Luke Shuey, a father of one, told Fox Footy on Thursday night..
“I don’t see why not. The AFL have been reasonable throughout the whole process.
“So if we have to go away, I think that’s looking likely, which is a good thing.”
The cost of players taking families into Queensland hubs will be funded by the AFL, which will not put a limit on the number of players clubs send.
It remains to be seen if the clubs from Western Australia and South Australia will be housed together or in separate hubs.
Despite the temporary relocation presenting another hurdle to West Coast in their premiership hunt, Shuey said the Eagles were prepared to do what they had to for the sake of the competition.
“As a playing group, we owe a lot to the game,” he said.
“No one is bigger than the game and this is our opportunity to give back to the game and get it back on its feet and get the competition going again.”