Lloyd said the players were in a good head space and happy to live within strict protocols to get the game back. He said everyone was looking forward to seeing each other and he imagined that Betts would lift spirits.
“He’ll be back in buzzing around on Monday,” Lloyd said.
Like all clubs, the Blues have had a tough week selecting the 24 football department staff who will have contact with the players under restrictions imposed by the AFL to minimise the risk of infection occurring within a club and keep costs low.
Lloyd said the Blues will have about half the usual number of people they would have inside the football department but revealed clubs will have the option of changing off-field personnel if the mix isn’t quite right as they adapt to a season.
He said the AFL could grant a club permission to make adjustments if the club decided they might need extra resources in one area as the season unfolded.
The Blues will resume contact training on March 25 with Lloyd saying they would only have intra-club match practice ahead of the restart.
He said he was pleased that players who were not selected in the AFL team would have the opportunity for practice matches against opposition, as AFL-listed players are barred from playing in state leagues this year.
AFLPA CEO Paul Marsh said the league was still working through what might be possible with the chance that numbers might mean the games are 14 on 14 or 16 on 16.
Lloyd said it was a relief to have a starting date and they were planning skills sessions during the first week.
“We’ll have a session that involves footy work, we will do some weight training and then some education. We’re looking forward to it,” Lloyd said.
Peter Ryan is a sports reporter with The Age covering AFL, horse racing and other sports.