Footy to farewell Victoria
ALL 10 Victorian-based AFL sides will leave the state later this week to enter hubs in either Western Australia, Queensland or NSW – possibly for the rest of the season.
Round 5 will go ahead as planned, but the AFL has been forced to change their fixtures for rounds six and seven due to the ordered mass exodus of teams from Victoria following a fresh COVID-19 outbreak.
The temporary relocation out of the state will see all 10 clubs undergo the various quarantine regimes while also continuing to adhere to the strict protocols the AFL has in place.
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk confirmed on Friday her state would host six Victorian sides – St Kilda, North Melbourne, Essendon, Western Bulldogs, Richmond and Carlton.
Geelong and Collingwood will make a one-week pit stop in Sydney before flying to Perth for their WA hub.
The Cats will ‘host’ Brisbane next Thursday night at the SCG, with Collingwood named as the home side for their showdown with Hawthorn at Giants Stadium the following night.
Geelong and Collingwood will then face off in Perth the following week.
Melbourne will ‘host’ Gold Coast at Giants Stadium on Saturday, July 11, with Essendon and North Melbourne to face off at Metricon Stadium that night.
Richmond will play host to Sydney at the Gabba on Sunday, July 12, with Carlton and the Bulldogs to lock horns at Metricon Stadium later that day.
“Essentially Queensland is going to be the home of the AFL, they should give us the grand final after this,” Palaszczuk told reporters on Friday.
“Four teams are going to be on the Gold Coast and two on the Sunshine Coast.”
Bulldogs coach Luke Beveridge said his players were excited about heading into a hub, though they would be supported if they elected to stay in Melbourne.
“The difficult thing, I think for everyone who’s going to a hub is just leaving their families behind,” he said.
“I think we’ve got eight dads and the boys will make decisions on whether or not (they go).
“We’d love to take everyone with us, we’ll definitely take all our players.
“We’re hoping to be able to take partners and young children if that’s what the choice is – but there might be one or two who may not be able to go and that’s fine and so we’ll work through that.”
Players from seven clubs who live in Melbourne’s COVID-19 hot spots have temporarily moved out of their homes to avoid being banned from entering NSW.
The Bulldogs had to relocate seven players and three staff members to a combination of staff member houses, hotels and Airbnbs.
There will not be a hub in South Australia, with SA Health Minister Stephen Wade ruling out the concept on SEN radio on Friday.
(C) AAP 2020
Thursday, July 9
Geelong v Brisbane, SCG, 7.40pm
Friday, July 10
Collingwood v Hawthorn, Giants Stadium, 7.50pm
Saturday, July 11
Fremantle v St Kilda, Metricon Stadium, 12.35pm
West Coast v Adelaide, Gabba, 3.05pm
Melbourne v Gold Coast, Giants Stadium, 6.05pm
Essendon v North Melbourne, Metricon Stadium, 7.40pm
Sunday, July 12
Port Adelaide v GWS, Metricon Stadium, 1.05pm
Richmond v Sydney, Gabba, 3.35pm
Carlton v Western Bulldogs, Metricon Stadium, 6.45pm
Thursday, July 16
Geelong v Collingwood, Optus Stadium, 8.10pm
Friday, July 17
Essendon v Western Bulldogs, Metricon Stadium, 7.50pm
Saturday, July 18
GWS v Brisbane, Giants Stadium, 1.45pm
Sydney v Gold Coast, SCG, 4.35pm
Richmond v North Melbourne, Metricon Stadium, 7.40pm
Sunday, July 19
Carlton v Port Adelaide, Gabba, 1.05pm
Hawthorn v Melbourne, Giants Stadium, 3.35pm
Fremantle v West Coast, Optus Stadium, 6.35pm
Monday, July 20
Adelaide v St Kilda, Adelaide Oval, 7.40pm
ALL TIMES AEST