Will a handful of full contact training sessions be enough to prepare an AFL side for the restart of season 2020?
Adam Simpsons certainly hopes so.
West Coast’s senior coach today revealed that the Eagles might only manage to get in five match simulation hit-outs before they embark on the remainder of the home and away season from a hub on the Gold Coast.
The players returned to training this week, but they are not permitted to commence full contact training until Monday, May 25.
Simpson admitted he might have to hold his charges back once they were given the green light to start laying tackles again.
“I think the boys are pretty keen (for contact sessions),” Simpson said at Mineral Resources Park this afternoon.
“I reckon they’ll (want to go) flat out, but it’ll probably be in shorter bursts and we’ll just try and extend it every session.
“The early indications are that our group is really fit. They’ve done all the things required and in essence done another two months of pre-season.
“We’ve still got to get some data from how they’ve pulled up from Monday and Wednesday, but no one is pulling up sore, so that’s telling me they’ve done the work.”
The 2018 premiership coach said West Coast was yet to make a call on how many players it would relocate to the Gold Coast.
He said the club was seeking more information about the hub arrangement before confirming its travelling party.
“We haven’t got the full spectrum of what’s going to happen, how long are we going for and what are the protocols when we go to the hub,” Simpson said.
“The AFL are working really hard and you’ve got to understand there are four clubs with hundreds of questions.
“Once we get that locked away we can actually go to our staff and our players and give them real clarity of what’s in front of them, but everyone is keen.”
Fortunately Simpson will have plenty of troops to pick from when it comes time to make that decision.
He said several players had recovered from injuries during their absence from the club.
“I think we’ve got three or four guys in rehab,” he said.
“We probably had five or six guys before we broke up and we probably had five or six guys that were underdone.
“They’ve had a good training block and we’ve probably got 38 or 39 players who are right to play.”