“So there’s a few options in front of us, we don’t control all the variables here, we don’t pretend to control all the variables, so we’re in the hands of government largely and the community generally as to when they think it’s right for us to start a game.
“All we can be is the best prepared as we can and have the industry fully aligned including clubs and players, broadcasters and venues all in the same page so if we get the opportunity to restart then we’re ready to go.”
The AFL is continuing to work on multiple fronts with the location of quarantine hubs still uncertain. All states and territories are being considered as possible options and the league is liaising with all state governments as part of the process.
Collingwood president Eddie McGuire said on Triple M radio that the AFL was going “to plan to do it everywhere so that when the time comes they can do it somewhere”.
Clubs were on Tuesday given an indication of the testing protocols that could – subject to government approval – be put in place once the season resumes as hoped later this year, to enable it to proceed uninterrupted once the ball is bounced.
Clubs were informed that players and officials would be tested before going into quarantine hubs and then be tested twice a week and on match day.
They would also be subject to daily medical screening and temperature tests to pick up any early symptoms if they arise.
If one player or official tested positive to COVID-19, the team – subject to other participants being cleared of the virus – would be able to continue playing in the competition.
It is unclear how the AFL would procure the level of testing required. A fundamental guiding principle of any return-to-play plan is that the resumption of the season would not put any stress on the public health system and would need government approval.
Peter Ryan is a sports reporter with The Age covering AFL, horse racing and other sports.
Sam McClure won the Clinton Grybas rising star award at the AFL media association awards in 2015.