AFL kit for more fixture changes

AFL kit for more fixture changes

The AFL is ready for another fixture reshuffle with the chaos of round 20 to have a flow-through effect on round 21.

Five teams – Gold Coast, Brisbane, Sydney, GWS and Essendon – have moved out of Queensland amid the lockdown in the south east of the state, meaning several games have to be adjusted.

Essendon is set to play the Western Bulldogs, but their game is expected to be pushed back from its original Friday night timeslot.

Postponing the Bombers’ round 20 game with Sydney from Saturday night to Sunday means there would be only a five-day break between games if they played on Friday.

Clubs are only allowed one five-day break in the season – under the AFL Players’ Association agreement with the league – and Essendon had theirs between rounds three and four.

“Yes (our opponent is) still the Dogs, I’m pretty sure. But… we have no certainty when that will be,” said coach Ben Rutten.

“Obviously things came up yesterday, so we’ll just have to wait and find out.

“Hopefully we will find out in the next 24 hours when we play, but we will be able to prepare for that game.”

Geelong’s clash with GWS is then expected to be moved to Friday night’s timeslot.

Meanwhile, Melbourne is poised to fly to Western Australia and quarantine for seven days before facing the west coast at Optus Stadium next Monday night.

Brisbane faces the same quarantine period in Perth before tackling Fremantle at the same location, most likely on Sunday.

Sydney and GWS have been on their way since they fled NSW on June 22 and after another cross-border dash, Swans coach John Longmire said he has “no idea” what the future holds.

The Swans are scheduled to play St Kilda at the Marvel Stadium.

“I’m not sure what’s going to happen tonight, let alone tomorrow and I’m sure you would understand. We just don’t know — we just have no idea,” Longmire said.

“Right now we are here in Melbourne, and I don’t know if it will change or not, but right now that’s what we’re looking at.”

The families of some players and staff from Sydney and GWS are currently in quarantine in Queensland, with the end of their isolation period lasting a few more days.

Longmire hoped a solution would be found to quickly reunite the club and the families.

“They have a few more days in quarantine, so we’d like to be able to catch up with them in a reasonable amount of time.” he said.

“Last year we were also away from them for nine weeks… last year they didn’t go with us, so we’d love to do it if we can this year.

“Hopefully this week would be a great result. It’s not in our hands.”