“But you can only deal with what’s in front of you and that’s the date that they’ve spoken about to the clubs and to the playing group. So we’ll keep working towards that date.”
Goodwin said the players trained relatively hard in the period immediately after the shutdown but are in a quieter phase at the moment as they wait for further direction from the AFL.
He said the Demons trusted the AFL to make the right decision as to when it would be safe for them to return, with that decision contingent on government advice.
The Demons’ coach said his club would have no hesitation in following the AFL’s direction regardless of the format in place when the season resumed.
“Once it gets to that point where there is an opportunity to play, whatever the season may look like, whatever the games look like, wherever the situation or scenarios take us, whichever place around Australia – we’re in,” Goodwin said.
“It’s because we love the game and we want to get back playing at some point.”
He said he would not address the concept of hubs with the players until the concept was clearer but he was supportive of any effort to get the game up and running as long as it was safe to do so.
Goodwin said one positive from the break was that Harley Bennell, Aaron vandenBerg, Nathan Jones, Christian Salem, Harrison Petty and Mitch Hannan were likely to be available when the season resumed.
He said Bennell had been running well as he recovers from calf issues, while vandenBerg was on track to return from a recurring foot injury that has hampered him for two years.
Goodwin also revealed the skipper Max Gawn – who is in his first season as captain – had developed an Easter pack for the players which includes, among other items, home-cooked cookies from Gawn’s mum and a book for the players. The coach described it as “Max Gawn’s special pack for Easter”.
The coach also said the club was doing all it could to help defender Michael Hibberd deal with his family tragedy after the 30-year-old’s brother Geoff went missing while fishing in Westernport Bay.
Peter Ryan is a sports reporter with The Age covering AFL, horse racing and other sports.