15/05/2020 - 11:16

AFL announces return date

15/05/2020 - 11:16

Bookmark

Save articles for future reference.

Australian Football League boss Gillon McLachlan has confirmed the resumption of the 2020 season, with an initial four rounds of football to begin on June 11.

AFL announces return date
Gillon McLachlan says the AFL has developed its model as the best option of returning to play. Photo: AFL

Australian Football League boss Gillon McLachlan has confirmed the resumption of the 2020 season, with an initial four rounds of football to begin on June 11.

The first block of games will be announced over the next 10 days, while the remaining 144 games, including finals, will be released in blocks of up to four to six weeks.

Mr McLachlan says games in the early part of the season will be scheduled at AFL venues in states that have approved full-contact training and matches.

All 18 clubs will begin non-contact training on Monday before making a full-scale return to contact training – comprising two sessions per week – from May 25.

Clubs will be based in their home state with the exception of Western Australian teams – the West Coast Eagles and Fremantle Dockers – and both South Australian teams, all of which will relocate to the Gold Coast for an initial period of at least four weeks.

Both WA teams will complete pre-season training in Perth before relocating ahead of their first scheduled matches.

Mr McLachlan said, with the current restrictions in SA, the Adelaide and Port Adelaide football clubs would need to relocate before full-contact training begins.

"Players will be able to host family members at any stage during their time away from home, which will be funded by the AFL," Mr McLachlan told reporters.

"The AFL ... will continue to review the arrangements in consultation with the AFL Players Association, clubs and the WA and South Australian governments."

Mr McLachlan said the AFL would need to retain maximum flexibility with the remaining fixture, should circumstances change.

"I feel confident that how we start is not how we will finish," he said.

"The AFL will implement protocols over and above the government restrictions to protect the health and safety of every member of our industry and the wider community."

All AFL players as well as key umpires and match day staff will undergo education sessions on coronavirus-related protocols, including ongoing screening and regular testing.

“We have developed our model as the best option of returning to play, and we have done so following extensive consultation including with the federal, state and territory governments and chief health officers," Mr McLachlan said.

Every AFL player is due to be tested for COVID-19 by the end of this week.

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

Subscription Options