The AFLPA has also indicated to players that they will be sent surveys asking them for feedback around what next season could and should look like.
Women’s football sources have confirmed that among the key issues being broached with players are whether they would be willing to head into a hub, how much notice they would need before doing so, how it would affect their day-to-day lives and whether they would prefer for the season to be delayed instead.
The prospect of female players entering hubs is arguably even more challenging than it has been for men as AFLW players remain semi-professional and therefore have more other commitments with things like study and work.
These potential obstacles have been handled by other female sporting leagues including Super Netball, which has conducted a hub in Queensland this year, and the Women’s Big Bash League, which will be played entirely in Sydney.
The improving pandemic situation in Victoria, where eight of the 14 AFLW sides are located, has boosted the chances that the next women’s season could proceed with relative normality. But there remain issues, including the sharing of club facilities between male and female players, which was barred by clubs in March as the situation escalated.
AFL football operations boss Steve Hocking told Triple M on Saturday that the women’s season remained a priority for his organisation.
“We’re really strongly focused on this year, and making sure we complete this season, have a showcase finals series in Queensland, and then before we race ahead to 2021 we need to consider the AFLW season … all the women are due to start their pre-season in November, so that’s our next focus,” Hocking said.
The AFL has already committed to retaining AFLW football department soft cap levels for 2021, and backed in plans for a nine-week home-and-away season plus three weeks of finals, which the AFLPA secured during at-times tense collective bargaining agreement negotiations last year.