Western Australian and South Australian AFL clubs are embracing the challenge of being forced to play ‘home’ games in Queensland.
West Coast and Fremantle will be based in a Gold Coast quarantine hub for at least the first four weeks of the competition’s restart due to WA’s border restrictions.
As it stands, Adelaide and Port Adelaide will join them after their Showdown in round two, unless South Australia’s quarantine protocols change.
The clubs will play each other, as well as the two Queensland teams, while in the Sunshine State.
But they have all had to sacrifice a home game, with the Dockers kicking things off when they host Port at Metricon Stadium in round three.
Dockers football manager Peter Bell said the club was determined to set themselves up ahead of an extended home run to conclude 2020.
“It is on the understanding that wherever possible, at the tail end of the season, we’ll get a run of home games back in Western Australia,” he said.
“I think everyone in the AFL will recognise that would be the fair and equitable thing.”
Flag contenders West Coast will even play reigning premiers Richmond at the Gold Coast venue in a prime-time Thursday night free-to-air TV clash.
“We understood we’d be playing away games and the ‘home’ game at the end is something that equitably has been spread across all the interstate clubs that will be based in Queensland, so it’s a fair outcome,” Eagles football boss Craig Vozzo said.
“The advantage of having a home game up in Queensland will be obviously signage for our sponsors … and it will be part of history hosting Richmond on the Gold Coast.”
Power chief executive Keith Thomas was not daunted by the prospect after numerous pre-season camps in Queensland in recent years.
Port, coincidentally, secured a thumping round one victory over the Suns at Metricon Stadium to head into the competition shutdown atop the ladder.