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Kick-to-kick with a disinfected footy: How players will stay sharp

Players across the AFL have been told they must take precautions if they choose to practise in small groups

Clubs have told players they will need to disinfect footballs before and after a session if they choose to go for a kick with a teammate during the competition's shutdown period.

With players unable to go to clubs until at least early May while the competition is suspended until at the earliest May 31, they have been given instructions on how to handle the break while in isolation. 

It is understood some players have been told by their clubs that, if they follow Government's social distancing advice on permitted exercise, they can go to the local park in a small group to keep their skills sharp. 

However, as the community and AFL tries to combat the spread of coronavirus, they will need to disinfect the ball across the session. Match balls were disinfected in last week's round one games before the season was halted on Sunday. 

Players from across the League have been taking their club's gym equipment in recent days and setting up a place at home, with some concerned about their ability to maintain the strength gains they have made across the pre-season. 

There is no set AFL-wide guidelines for players to follow over the next two months, with each club preparing fitness and conditioning programs.

The AFL Players' Association is supportive of its cohort continuing to train in the immediate term, although some clubs encouraged players to have a week off after the announcement the season was being stopped and resume individual training next week. 

Clubs have been supportive of the AFL's decision to put in place blanket rules across the League while the game faces its sabbatical.

There were some concerns from officials that it would be possible for varied clubs to get an advantage during the break if government advice was different in each state. 

For instance, if the COVID-19 situation was more serious in one state than another, there would be the possibility of certain players being able to access their clubs while others in different states were not permitted.

However the AFL's national approach will see all clubs in line under the same parameters.

AFL

Longmuir’s demand – ‘keep your head in the game’

Senior coach Justin Longmuir has called on his Freo Dockers players to stay focused as they head into mandatory leave during the Covid-19 crisis
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