“There’s only one person who I would listen to regarding that question and that person is the ultimate decision maker. When Nicola Spurrier was asked the very same question, she said, ‘It has nothing to do with it’. Full stop,” Chapman said.
Adelaide Crows football manager Adam Kelly also rejected the suggestion the debacle had hardened South Australian attitudes to an exemption.
“I don’t think there is any link there,” Kelly said.
Port were particularly disappointed and surprised that the government had not allowed clubs to return to full training as other states have done and attempted to have them reconsider.
But with that hope increasingly forlorn they spent Thursday making preliminary arrangements to move to the Gold Coast, potentially relocating early to train ahead of the season restart.
Power president David Koch said the Port were disappointed in the SA Health decision but were preparing for the hub.
“It will put us at a severe disadvantage to the big Melbourne clubs and other interstate clubs … but that will make victory even sweeter to get over those hurdles,” he said on Seven.
While details were still being thrashed out, the number of players clubs would be able to take into hubs would not be limited and the signs were that the AFL would allow families to join those required to move to play football. Kelly said the turn of events had surprised the Crows’ players and they were keen to have questions around family answered but the players were willing to relocate.
“It conflicts with their responsibilities as parents, as partners but it is something that we will deal with and we will work through,” Kelly said.
The make-up of hubs and the restrictions imposed on those relocating to play remained the subject of discussions between the AFL and the Queensland Government, with the AFL Players’ Association dealing with the AFL as talks intensified.
However the clubs are likely to stay in resort style accommodation with Royal Pines on the Gold Coast a potential location and restrictions on movement outside the facility was likely to be dictated by the AFL protocols and the expectations of the Queensland government.
Bond University confirmed the AFL had contacted them to be a potential training venue for a visiting team on the Gold Coast.
Port Adelaide said they would be empathetic to players who might have family issues that make it difficult for them to be away from family for an extended period of time.
Peter Ryan is a sports reporter with The Age covering AFL, horse racing and other sports.