K rock Football

Cats brace for life on the road

Geelong could be gone from Victoria for several weeks. (Getty Images via AFL Photos Image/Daniel Pockett)

AS Melbourne attempts to contain a spike in COVID-19 cases the immediate future of the AFL fixture has once again been thrown into chaos.

With the Cats set for a Western Australian hub in two weeks’ time, coach, Chris Scott is keenly aware of the responsibility the club holds in keeping the competition alive.

“The obligation from our end is to work with the AFL as much as possible to assist them to get this season away,” Scott said at GMHBA Stadium on Tuesday morning.

“It’s been an amazing challenge up to this point and I suspect it’s going to get harder, especially with the Victorian situation.”

With the immediate outlook far from clear, AFL fixture boss Travis Auld suggested on 3AW radio that Geelong and Collingwood’s confirmed three-week hub experience may well be extended as other states potentially lock their borders to Victorians.

“We’d love to have all the information but very few people if any one does have the information so in that respect, we are all forced to speculate a little bit,” Scott said.

“The challenge for us will be working out as quickly as we can what’s in front of us and disregarding the parts in the future that we aren’t so sure about. That can be the hard part – the uncertainty.

“We know where we are for three weeks but what does it mean if we are away for another two weeks?

“The best way to approach that is to get the three weeks you know about out of the way and worry about the next bit when it comes.”

Emphasising the family first approach at the club, Scott again confirmed discussions will take place with players and staff regarding the extended move away from home, while pointing to the wide-ranging benefits in keeping the 2020 season alive.

“I think I speak on their behalf when I say the fact we’ve been able to get the season started is going to be a nett positive for all those people,” he said.

“I include my family in that as well, even if we have to put up with some short-term pain.

“I can really only speak with assurance on my situation, but my private discussions at home have been that it would be much better for us to have a bit of short term pain but be able to continue in my position rather than being stuck at home in quarantine without a salary.

“That would be a bigger price to pay I would have thought.”

When pressed on the details of the WA hub accommodation, Scott smiled when discussing what he expects.

“There’s no question it will be the best hotel Perth’s got to offer; silver service, five-star dining, access to all the mod cons,” Scott joked.

“I think we’ll be OK. I’ve said before, our clubs always embraced the idea of being away for a period of time in the middle of the season.

“It’s almost a perennial fixture request for us.

“This one’s going to be a little bit different in that there will be pretty stringent quarantine, but as there should, this is still a serious issue.

“The West Australian government should be commended for the way they’ve handled it. It’s incumbent on us to ensure we don’t do anything to jeopardise their success.”

Twitter: @KanePitman