It’s not a holiday, it’s training in isolation.
That was the matter of fact message Josh Kennedy delivered when chatting to 6PR’s breakfast program this morning.
AFL chief executive Gillon McLachlan announced on Sunday that the 2020 premiership season would be suspended until at least May 31, with a review of the situation to take place at the end of April.
He also confirmed that players would not be permitted to train at their clubs during the first month of the suspension in keeping with the Federal Government’s social distancing protocols.
Kennedy said the Eagles would not be putting their feet up during their absence from Mineral Resources Park, which he revealed was scheduled to run until May 4 at a minimum.
“For us now we are not back in contact with the club until probably around May 4 and that’s pending the AFL and the Government assessing stuff around probably a week before that,” Kennedy said.
“That could change, but for now, as of today, we are not so much on leave but more isolated training. We’re kicking into a mini pre-season that’s in-season.”
Season shutdown take-home packs... pic.twitter.com/XPfGufufGm— West Coast Eagles (@WestCoastEagles) March 23, 2020
Kennedy said several Eagles elected to return to their home state before border closures were enforced later today.
He also confirmed that every player received a take-home shutdown pack to aid their remote training programs.
“It’s all just stuff that’s based around our training. There’s bands, witches hats obviously for our running drills, there are footballs to kick,” Kennedy said.
“We’ve probably got to try and find a way with weights as well. A lot of the gyms have shut down as a non-essential business, so for us to do our gym training will be quite difficult because we’re not allowed to be at the club. Hopefully we can source some of our own gym equipment just to keep that strength up, but that’s going to be a difficult one.
“You are able to run anywhere until the government says that no one is allowed to be outside exercising, which is obviously what has happened over in Italy. The gym stuff is probably going to be the most difficult thing to try and get strength and build up over this next six to eight weeks.”
While it’s something to contemplate, Kennedy said finding a way to maintain his muscles was far from his greatest concern at present.
The dual Coleman medallist said his thoughts were with those who were struggling in this time of uncertainty.
“This is so much bigger than football and I know we’re here to talk footy, but the stuff that’s going on in the world and people losing jobs or not being able to pay for rent or their mortgages is something that’s quite sad,” Kennedy said.
“This is hitting a lot more people than us as footballers.”