Fremantle leader Alex Pearce says he and his teammates are expecting plenty of curveballs throughout the 2022 season as borders open in WA and players head interstate for games amid the current Covid outbreak in Australia.
Pearce said his plan was to do his best to avoid catching the virus to ensure he was available for as many games as possible, and feels his teammates are on the same page.
“You can see what it’s doing to the Big Bash and sports all around the world with players missing due to Covid. I think for us, when Covid inevitably does get into WA and we have to deal with it and we have to start travelling interstate, we’ll just have to be careful with what we do and where we go and I think it’s going to be a real competitive advantage for the teams that can keep players on the park,” Pearce said.
“We’ve been lucky at the moment, we’ve been able to enjoy some freedom but that’s not going to be the same for the whole season. When that comes, we’ll have to change the way we do things and look after ourselves.”
In Wednesday’s media conference, Pearce was asked if he felt it was an advantage to catch Covid in the pre-season compared to in-season.
“It’s an interesting conversation. It is nice for us to be uninterrupted even during this Christmas break when we’re training together and not have to have a week off with Covid and not have to recover for two weeks to get over Covid, which is what’s happening to some people that get it,” Pearce said.
“I still think the best thing to do is to just avoid it and not get it and not have to worry about the health risks that come with it, not have to worry about the isolating, the extra stress on keeping players apart and all that kind of thing. It might be wishful thinking but we’re going to do our best to limit our exposure and make sure that as many players are available for every game this season.”
Pearce said Fremantle had the depth to manage a scenario where a large group of players are unavailable due to Covid.
“I’m super confident. I think over the past couple of years we have blooded a lot of young guys who have performed, and the competition on the training track has been fierce,” Pearce said.
“It’s been nice to have our full list available to train and to really get training minutes into them at a high intensity. I’m super confident that everyone’s going to be ready to step up, you use a lot of your list anyway during the season, maybe we have to use a few more. It’s just super exciting for the guys when they have the chance to step up.”
No matter the challenges thorwn at the Club in 2022, Pearce said Fremantle would be ready to step up.
“There’s different challenges this year than the last couple of years, but the ability of our group to take on what we need to do, we trust the medical advice, we trust the experts, we trust the Club to look after us, and that’s where we stand,” Pearce said.