AFL return date revealed

Geelong Cats player Jack Stevens in a pre-season match against Essendon. Picture: Marcel Berens

By Melissa Grant

Footy is back!

The 2020 AFL season is finally set to resume on Thursday, 11 June.

AFL chief executive Gillon McLachlan revealed the footy return date at a press conference on Friday.

Mr McLachlan said all clubs would resume training on Monday, with full contact training resuming on 25 May.

He said strict protocols would be in place to protect players, officials, staff and the wider community.

“All players and returning football department staff are being tested for COVID-19 prior to returning to the club and that testing is continuing today,” he said.

“All players will be undergoing education sessions on the protocols they will need to follow, including rigorous ongoing screening and regular testing throughout both the training and return to play period.”

The fixture will be released in blocks of four to six weeks, with the first block of games revealed within the next 10 days.

There’s wide speculation that a Richmond v Collingwood clash will kick off the season.

Due to COVID-19 restrictions in their home states, West Coast, Fremantle, Adelaide and Port Adelaide will base themselves on the Gold Coast.

There was no announcement about a specific grand final date.

However, if the season proceeds as planned the grand final will be played in mid-late October.  The grand final could be played on Saturday 24 October – which is also the date of horse racing’s Cox Plate.