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- AFLW 2022: West Coast pushes for extra Eagles home game, Fremantle Dockers leave Perth for Victorian hub
AFLW 2022: West Coast pushes for extra Eagles home game, Fremantle Dockers leave Perth for Victorian hub
The West Coast is pushing to have its sixth-round clash against Collingwood moved to Mineral Resources as compensation for playing five straight games between the states.
The Eagles have been the hardest hit by a rewrite of the game and are due to face Gold Coast, Adelaide, St Kilda and Geelong in their spell at the Victorian hub.
The West Coast are then due to return home after their fifth Friday night clash against Geelong, coinciding with the opening of the WA border on February 5, but will return to Melbourne five days later to face Collingwood at Victoria Park.
The Dockers will return to Perth after their fifth game against North Melbourne, but will host Carlton at Fremantle Oval the following weekend.
Head coach Michael Prior said the club were hoping to turn the game around, having already lost two home games since the original AFLW game was released.
“We initially had six games at home and now we’re down to four,” Prior said.
“We understand the game has to change depending on what’s going on, but we come back to Perth and we’re here for five days and then we have to go back and play Collingwood.
“We are trying to get that changed, so hopefully the AFL will understand that our girls have jobs and they need to get back to work. We’re trying to rock this game and the Richmond game, so hopefully they see it and help us with that.
Fremantle and West Coast are expected to enter a ‘bubble’ once they arrive in Melbourne with the calculated aim of overtaking COVID.
Cafes and restaurants will be banned, restrictions will be placed on the time players can spend together indoors and the two clubs will spend most of their time in their respective hotels.
Dockers defender Ange Stannett said isolation would work in Fremantle’s favour.
“Anything we can do to mitigate any risk, we want 30 girls to be fit and fighting to get out every week. The more we can protect ourselves and make smart decisions, the more we will do,” she said.
“We have already started to find strategies to occupy our minds. There will definitely be plenty of outdoor activities in the Botanical Gardens, whatever we can do to keep ourselves busy we will.
Before adding: “We believe that we may be able to obtain an advantage by living in a hotel. Obviously the Melbourne clubs, their daughters are still going to work, so there are more chances and risks for them. It will be survival of the fittest.
But even if both clubs dodge the virus, there is always the possibility that their opponents will not and matches will be postponed anyway.
“We have to adapt,” Prior said.
“We can’t control what other teams do. There shouldn’t be anyone involved on game day who has COVID, so we’re safe in that regard.