DETERMINED: CEO of AFL Queensland Dean Warren is hard at work planning for when the game can return. PICTURE: ANNA ROGERS
DETERMINED: CEO of AFL Queensland Dean Warren is hard at work planning for when the game can return. PICTURE: ANNA ROGERS

AFLQ boss talks season’s contingency plan

WHILE other Australian sporting code members have seen their 2020 seasons succumb to restrictions put in place due to the COVID-19 pandemic, AFL Queensland is keeping its hopes alive.

AFL Queensland CEO Dean Warren said while the likelihood of the season commencing next month continued to dwindle, officials had yet to make a call.

"It's all a bit unclear at the moment, we're keeping an eye on everything and we are constantly monitoring the situation and will continue to do so over the coming month before we make any decisions," Warren said.

Though the season's start date may be in question, Warren said the organisation would continue to push ahead even if it was only possible later in the year.

"We're not necessarily looking at a summer season, we're very conscious of other sports which take place during that time like cricket, but we're looking at all of our options," he said.

"It's really important that we continue on with the season when we are permitted to, AFL Queensland and local games are an integral part of communities.

"It brings them together and sees so many people from around the state get involved."

He said all levels and sectors of the game were being considered in their plans, including AusKick and AFLX to allow all players - both young and older - to eventually ­return to the game they love.

But as the hard work continues behind closed doors, AFL Queensland has turned its focus on creating a series of challenges on social media to keep those starved of the sport on their toes.

The first challenge, 'Find your Touch', tests a player's motor skills as they are called to tally their returned bounces off a wall through a variety of drills.

"One of our team members put together a video challenged to keep our players engaged, it's been a great initiative and we're continuing to work on more content which will further this," Warren said.

All of Australia's state offices are working together with the AFL as part of a national working group to achieve this, he said, adding the online content would be relevant to Australia's current environment.

"The main focus is to keep our players, fans, coaches and officials engaged and with footy front of mind during this challenging period," Warren said.

"We need to ensure that we are keeping communities and clubs connected with skills, drills, latest information and guidance and by doing that we hope it will inspire a bigger and better season we can return.

"We're also encouraging our local clubs and players to create their own fun and engaging content that we can share across our channels."

Mr Warren commended the actions of all local clubs and players throughout the state for their continued efforts in flattening the curve.

When the organisation is given the all clear, the game will return, he assured, but unfortunately the final decision, like so many other sporting codes, was out of the hands of officials.

"It's been fantastic to see the response and just how seriously all our clubs and players are taking the response," Warren said.

"When the time is right, the game will be back."



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