Impact of COVID on AFL season 2022

The season is gonna be carnage at times isn’t it?

I hope Tom Hird, Cian McBride et al are feeling ready to play AFL footy because it feels like most sides will be forced to expose almost their entire squads to the top level to get through the year.

The teams with the best depth and those playing groups who are prepared more to live like hermits could be more successful than you’d otherwise think.

What about VFL footy? There will be non afl listed blokes in there who are plumbers, sparkies, personal trainers etc who will obviously be more vulnerable to exposure playing alongside our AFL listed guys.

The relaxed definition of close contacts should help somewhat. Will clubs not want more than a couple of players boarding/living together?

But could there be situations where a player tests positive too close to start time and then the other players results can’t come back quick enough?

I’m sure people on here who are all over the Covid stuff (there are plenty) will have thoughts on how they see this season playing out.

Judging by the Big Bash teams being decimated (albeit their living arrangements are a bit different) it feels like we are in for a roller coaster AFL season!


I’d hope they’d be RAT testing all those guys before training and games to minimise likelihood of impact on AFL players.


If the AFLW is any indication, as long as you have 22 players available, you play as usual.

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Yeah there will no doubt be a “get on with things” philosophy. If you can field a team, you play.

Hence why you can definitely forsee situations where battlers or really young (realistically ‘not ready’) kids are gonna get games at various points.

Especially if it hits teams who are already dealing with a sizeable injury list.

It will be interesting to see what they would then do if injuries (or claimed injuries) reduced a team below 22. Are you defaulting a match you probably can’t win, or does that get you out of it?


I reckon before the season starts they’ll stop testing players unless they have symptoms.

Some clubs might also be tempted to let covid rip through their squad before the season starts.

Do we still have few players with kids? That might be an advantage

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Good point. Yeah I’m pretty sure compared to most other clubs very few of our players have kids. Only a small thing obviously but could work in our favour.

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If we need to, we could get Hartley in as a top up.

You can catch covid twice buddy. Horrid idea. Anyways depth will be very important

Is this a window/justification to go back to reserves playing as curtain raiser to seniors?
{Or, at the very least, in the same city?}

Would be ludicrous to have (for eg) 22 reserves playing “VFL” in Queensland, while the seniors are playing in another state, get 3 or 4 struck down & have to forfeit.
And I don’t think the 12 v 12 scratch matches were all that useful.


At this rate, the majority of players will have had it already given the rate of spread by the start of the season.

A few thoughts.

Teams will be very lucky to escape at least some cases before the season proper starts.
Those teams that have a significant number of cases preseason will be less disrupted during the season.
Following that logic, the Weagles & Dockers are most at risk of major disruption later in the year, rather than over the next 3 months.

And of course Geelong. Given the age of their squad, having to adopt Aged Care Homes protocols is likely to have a significant impact.


This would be a game changer and we’ll obviously reach this stage at some point you’d think (and hope) but it’s just a matter of when. I’d personally be surprised if things got relaxed that much any time soon. Could be wrong though.

Looks in good nick on his Insta

And as we know that’s all that matters

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what is the theory of letting covid into a club before the season starts?

What are those teams going to do about WA’s border issues?

Deliberately let it rip? Its going to rip anyway.

IMO, COVID will eventually join the constellation of coronaviruses that are already part of the “common cold complex”. That being the case, it will be something we might get every year at least once, each time as soon as our antibodies wane a bit.

Maybe by 2025 things will settle down. Life goes on.

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Swans already have the jump.

It would be horrible if somebody got seriously sick though. Or gave it to a family member that did.

That’s a very good question that I don’t think anyone has an answer to.
A lot will depend on their February 5th opening up - will it go ahead?, will they be scared off by what’s happened in Queensland, SA, and Tasmania?, will they try and continue to impose travel restrictions and/or political (rather than health based) prerequisites on travel both to & returning to WA?

Interestingly I reckon they’ve got the start of football season as a pressure point.
Losing the Perth Test was one thing. Farking around with the AFL season & restrictive travel requirements risks having the Eagles & Dockers relocated to an East Coast hub for an extended period. Otherwise 16 other teams are disadvantaged.
Which I doubt will be popular domestically.

Of course they could just secede, and try & run their own national football competition. And see how far that gets them.

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