AFTER 54 days without footy, an announcement on its restart is coming on Friday afternoon at 12.45pm AEST.
AFL chief executive Gillon McLachlan will reveal the ‘return to play’ date – likely for June 11 or June 18 – and the resumption of training plan set for next week.
Following a phone hook-up with clubs on Thursday night, the four clubs from South Australia and Western Australia will reopen their season inside quarantine hubs on the Gold Coast.
Two luxury golf resorts will be used to house the visiting teams who will play a host of games at Metricon Stadium and the GABBA against the Suns and Lions in the early rounds.
The decision on whether families can join players inside the hubs is expected to come down to the individual clubs.
SA government rules stating that no contact training is permitted until June 8 will force Adelaide and Port Adelaide to move quicker to get their preparation underway.
An exemption in WA will allow Fremantle and West Coast to train fully from May 25 which will help both clubs to stay home for longer before flying east to begin matches.
A bombshell letter from the SA government on Wednesday blindsided the Crows and Power who were hoping to be given an exemption to avoid the state’s 14-day quarantine measures when arriving back from interstate matches. Their request was flatly denied.
The 10 Victorian-based teams and two clubs in New South Wales will follow the AFL’s timeline on training but have been given the green light to start full sessions by state governments.
Clubs in Victoria and NSW will continue to play in their states, as well as fly in and out for matches. They’ll use chartered flights – often carrying two teams for interstate trips – to reduce costs and avoid the outbreak of the coronavirus.
Testing of all players and officials for COVID-19 started this week and will be completed by Friday. It will be repeated twice a week when training resumes.
It comes as players were briefed on Wednesday about adhering to stricter social distancing protocols than those set for the public in their individual states to avoid the virus spreading inside a club.
AFL.com.au and the AFL Live Official App will have all the latest details throughout the day on Friday.