The AFL’s long-awaited season restart announcement has delivered good news to fans with an 11 June resumption date, 81 days after the season was postponed.
The AFL has been patient in finalising a ‘return to play’ date compared to the aggressive approach by the NRL, which today announced the fixture for their first two weeks back.
AFL chief executive Gillon McLachlan confirmed the return date in a press conference today, where he outlined the strict health protocols that will be in place to protect the health and safety of every member of the industry and the wider community.
“We have daily screening by the doctors of every single player on the list,” McLachan said.
“We have bi-weekly testing of every player (with one test) at least 24 hours before the contact session and we will have the results back before they’re allowed to do contact sessions or play games.
“And there are a whole series of other measures.”
The Giants have announced that players and football department officials will return to the club on Monday 18 May and complete a three-and-a-half-week training block before matches begin.
The training will involve a staggered return, with clubs to begin non-contact training in groups of up to eight for the first week.
When contact training is permitted from Monday 25 May, players will still train in small groups except for the main contact training session each week.
The GIANTS will be looking to replicate their form from the first match of the season when they resume. They kicked an incredible 17 goals 3 behinds in a comfortable 32 point victory over Geelong in an impressive display of skills.
The Giants will be based out of NSW for the season as four teams will be forced to relocate to the Gold Coast: Western Australian teams West Coast Eagles and Fremantle, and South Australian teams Adelaide Crows and Port Adelaide.
The AFL will announce the 144-game schedule in blocks of 4-6 weeks to maintain flexibility as the pandemic continues to evolve.
The first block of games is expected to be released in the next 10 days.