Hawthorn have joined Melbourne in Sydney, basing themselves at the Crowne Plaza in Coogee.
They will train at Drummoyne Oval, where GWS’ AFLW side play, and will have access to local grounds near their Novotel hotel for lighter sessions.
The facilities at Blacktown include a gym and meeting rooms. Many suitable grounds nearby Melbourne’s accommodation don’t have goalposts.
Like they were in Melbourne, players based in Sydney are still allowed to go out for essential shopping and takeaway coffees but can’t access public gyms and can only use training grounds that are cleaned before and after use.
Melbourne players are not permitted to use the gym at the Novotel.
The AFL was working on Monday night to find private gyms for both teams to use for weights sessions.
“These are tough times for everyone and they’re unprecedented. So we’ll do what’s required and what’s needed and we’ll get on with it,” Hawthorn football boss Graham Wright told The Age.
The Hawks have only a five day turn around to face Collingwood on Friday night.
They held a training session for those who didn’t play in the loss to GWS at Sydney University on Monday.
But with the Hawks fighting for a spot in the top eight, Melbourne fans have been left angered by yet another poor start to a season off the back of finishing 17th last year.
The Demons were criticised by former club champions Gerard Healy and Garry Lyon on Monday, with Healy declaring them “the most frustrating side to watch in the competition” on 3AW.
Lyon said the same issues have been occurring for too long.
“They’ve been happening for 18 months. They’ve had endeavour for 18 months, but they can’t convert that opportunity and they finished second last, they can’t kick, they haven’t been able to kick for a long, long time,” Lyon told SEN.
“Their midfield are bangers. Jack Viney, Clayton Oliver, Ed Langdon’s a horrible kick, so you’ve got to question the recruitment there. Jayden Hunt is a horrible, horrible kick, so don’t ever whinge if you get dropped because you’re a horrible kick and you can’t be AFL standard if you can’t kick.
“They’ve got no power forward, Tom McDonald has gone backwards, Sam Weideman’s been slower than they want in development.
“They play at a tempo that is unsustainable for their skill level. They are in the red zone the whole time,” Lyon continued.
“They play on, play on, Hollywood handball, Hollywood handball, Hollywood handball – you can’t play like that when you’ve got horrible skills by foot because you put yourself under pressure when you’ve got no composure going forward.”
Sam McClure is a sport reporter for The Age and winner of ‘best news reporter’ at the AFL Media Association awards.