As Victoria’s AFL clubs prepare to hit the road, Melbourne coach Simon Goodwin says the Demons are still uncertain exactly when and where they’ll be sent into interstate hubs.
The 10 clubs are expected to relocate – potentially as early as next week – with NSW and Western Australia flagged as potential locations along with the current Gold Coast hub.
That scenario moved a step closer to fruition on Wednesday when clubs were sent scrambling to relocate players who live in Melbourne’s COVID-19 hot spots as directed by the AFL.
The Demons did not have to relocate any members of their squad, but are still awaiting clarity on their short-term future.
“No idea (where we’re going) at this stage,” Goodwin told reporters on Thursday.
“What we are up for is we’re up for anything. We just want to play footy.”
Clubs are expecting a week’s notice on plans to move into hubs but Goodwin said he wouldn’t be surprised if the Demons were on the road next week.
“I think everyone knows that this thing’s moving so quickly that we’ll just deal with what comes our way,” he said.
“If it’s three days, it’s three days, if it’s five, it’s five and if it’s a week, it’s a week – and we don’t know where we’re playing next week or what’s going on.
“I’m sure we’ll get informed at the right time and we’re just ready for anything.”
North Melbourne had to find new homes for 12 players and four staff at short notice after the hot spot suburbs were locked down by the Victorian government.
“It’s been a bit challenging but full credit to Brady (Rawlings) and his staff for getting that organised,” Kangaroos coach Rhyce Shaw said.
“Our players, they’re a no-fuss kind of group, so they’re just getting on with it pretty quickly.
“Apart from someone’s heater not working in one of the houses it’s been pretty good.”
Shaw has already spoken to his players about entering a hub with a positive mindset.
“Wherever that is, we’ve just got to be able to do it,” he said.
“Teams have shown over this period that they’ve been willing to do that and we’ve got to make sure that we take our turn.”
Goodwin said there hadn’t been any push back from Demons players at the prospect of entering interstate hubs.
However, he expected there to be an opportunity for players to bring their families with them, like the WA and SA clubs were able to do.
Melbourne vice-captain Jack Viney and his wife Charlotte had their first child less than a week ago while the Demons have several other players with young families.