Approximately 30 players are set to travel to Fremantle’s temporary base on the Gold Coast as the club prepares for a two-game stint interstate, according to CEO Simon Garlick.
Fremantle were originally due to play Brisbane this Sunday at Optus Stadium before the AFL announced on Tuesday that the game would be switched to the Gabba.
At this stage, Fremantle plan to stay on the Gold Coast as they prepare for the Brisbane game. Fremantle will remain on the Gold Coast and fly to Melbourne on the Friday ahead of their round nine clash at Marvel Stadium before returning home.
It means Fremantle’s next home game will be played against Sydney on Saturday 22 May at Optus Stadium.
Garlick said Fremantle were pleased to be able to swap the venues with Brisbane for rounds eight and 21, enabling the Club to avoid a second consecutive locked-out home game.
“We’ve had some ongoing discussions with the State Government and there was no assurance of there being a crowd for a game this Sunday,” Garlick said.
“If it was, we’d think it would be restricted capacity and with masks. The prospect of the situation in round 21 being different and uninhibited is clearly a positive for us…giving our members and fans full access in round 21 would be great.”
Garlic expects the two-week trip to be beneficial to the players.
“From our perspective, we took a significant number of positives from our two hub stints last year,” Garlick said.
“While there’s no disputing we had a disappointing result on the weekend, sometimes getting on the road can be really positive.
“We’ve played three of our last four games here in Perth so in that sense, it won’t be an issue for us hitting the road and if anything else, it’s an opportunity for us to bring that tight-knit group on the road which is something that’s hard to replicate.”
Garick said at least 30 players would make the initial trip to the Gold Coast.
“We’ll look to take in the order of 30 players - perhaps in the low 30 - as the squad with us,” Garlick said.
“There’s some guys in there who are playing some really good footy with Peel and we wanted to make sure they had opportunities there.
“It’s a balancing act to make sure we get it right. We might be able to send players back or bring players over if things continue. Clearly, we need to plan for the worst and hope for the best.”