Five West Coast Eagles will be spending the next fortnight in isolation after returning from South Australia and Victoria today.
Senior coach Adam Simpson told 3AW’s Sportsday program that senior midfielder Jack Redden would self-isolate with his young family, while three emerging Eagles would move into a house where they could train together.
In accordance with Western Australian law, anyone returning to the state from abroad or the east coast is required to isolate themselves from the community for 14 days.
“We’ve got five (players) that have come back (to WA),” Simpson said.
“Because of the lack of flights we couldn’t get them back until today. Jack Redden came back from Adelaide and we had three or four young guys from Victoria.
“Jack Redden is with his family, so he’s at his house.
“We’ll be isolating (the other players) in a house; we’ll set them up in a house.
“We’ll set up a gym in the garage, put a treadmill in there, and they’ll spend a couple of weeks under isolation. That’s what we’re working through.”
Like everyone else in the industry, Simpson was eagerly awaiting an update on when and how the 2020 season might resume.
He hoped the competition could return in its traditional format, but the 2018 premiership mentor conceded that might not be possible if the WA Government maintained its current travel restrictions.
“We were sort of hoping for some better news,” Simpson admitted.
“We’ve gone from being in a real positive manner in terms of AFL thinking we’re right to go to the likelihood of having to get some exemptions to travel. We’re working hard with the (WA) Government and the AFL is doing everything they can as well. And of course, the Premier has got all of the people he represents at front of mind as well.
“Hopefully things change, but at the moment there is a bit of work to do.”
Some media commentators have suggested that should WA’s border restrictions stay in place, both West Coast and Fremantle might be forced to temporarily relocate to the east, with an option to nominate a ‘home away from home’ to base themselves out of.
Simpson said he had not considered the hypothetical. His preference was to wait for the AFL’s announcement and go from there.
“Outside (playing at) Optus there aren’t too many plan Bs,” Simpson said.
“There are so many things happening and being privy to a couple of the conversations the AFL are having, there are so many things they’ve got to work through.
“Let’s wait and see what happens tomorrow with the Federal Government and wait and see what the AFL is working with with the state governments and hopefully we get some tractions. It’s fingers crossed. We might be the last state that gets things worked through, but we’re hoping for the best.”