Lachie Whitfield and Nick Haynes of the Giants during a training session at Mount Martha. Picture: AAP Image/Michael Dodge
Lachie Whitfield and Nick Haynes of the Giants during a training session at Mount Martha. Picture: AAP Image/Michael Dodge

AFL shuts down unfair training advantage

The AFL has today shut down a potential key advantage for WA-based clubs that could have allowed them to train in groups of ten in coming weeks.

West Coast defender Brad Sheppard said this morning that new WA state guideline would immediately allow the Eagles to begin training in larger groups.

WA premier Mark McGowan has lifted the limit on outdoor gatherings to 10 people after the state recorded a declining number of new COVID-19 cases.

But the Herald Sun can reveal Steve Hocking's department has just ruled that the initial rules which allowed players to have only one training partner will remain.

 

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The league emailed clubs to tell them the competitive equalisation measures would remain in place so teams did not have an unfair advantage.

Fremantle football boss Peter Bell told the Herald Sun the Dockers had no changed their training protocols until given guidance by the league.

Rival Victorian clubs had on Monday and Tuesday complained to the league about a competitive advantage and been told football boss Steve Hocking will make a ruling today.

When Hocking constituted training restrictions that involved players only training with a single teammate, clubs were told not to find loopholes around the regulations.

Clubs believe teams in groups of ten could run specific training drills involving tactics and gain a significant advantage over rival sides.

With such a short second pre-season of up to three week, clubs believe the AFL must present a level playing field to clubs.

Shepperd said the WA-based clubs hoped to be able to train together in bigger groups.

"No doubt going forward if it's a green light we will be training in small groups, which I think is a great thing," Sheppard said.

"How well the WA public have gone about the distancing and isolation, it's given us and our state a leg up on the other states.

"To be able to train with a couple more boys definitely - talking about that motivation - seeing other boys and seeing the hard work is why you play footy (and) the camaraderie.

"To be able to get a couple more players that you haven't seen in a while to come down and have a kick is something I was pretty happy about."

Jordan Roughead and Jack Madgen of Collingwood training together. Picture: AAP Image/Michael Dodge
Jordan Roughead and Jack Madgen of Collingwood training together. Picture: AAP Image/Michael Dodge

 

West Coast defender Brad Sheppard said today that new WA state guideline would immediately allow the Eagles to begin training in larger groups.

WA premier Mark McGowan has lifted the limit on outdoor gatherings to 10 people after the state recorded a declining number of new COVID-19 cases.

Rival Victorian clubs have already complained to the league about a competitive advantage and have been told football boss Steve Hocking will make a ruling today.

When Hocking constituted training restrictions that involved players only training with a single teammate, clubs were told not to find loopholes around the regulations.

Clubs believe teams in groups of ten could run specific training drills involving tactics and gain a significant advantage over rival sides.

With such a short second pre-season of up to three week, clubs believe the AFL must present a level playing field to clubs.

It would be a major surprise if the league allowed some clubs greater opportunities to train together than others so the expectation is the AFL will reinforce its current protocols.

Shepperd said the WA-based clubs would be able to

"No doubt going forward if it's a green light we will be training in small groups, which I think is a great thing," Sheppard said.

"How well the WA public have gone about the distancing and isolation, it's given us and our state a leg up on the other states.

"To be able to train with a couple more boys definitely - talking about that motivation - seeing other boys and seeing the hard work is why you play footy (and) the camaraderie.

"To be able to get a couple more players that you haven't seen in a while to come down and have a kick is something I was pretty happy about."

Originally published as AFL shuts down unfair training advantage