Crows hold out hope on unvaccinated player

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Adelaide are hoping unvaccinated premiership defender Deni Varnhagen will receive the COVID-19 jab before the start of the AFLW season.

Varnhagen, who works as registered nurse in intensive care units, is refusing to be vaccinated.

The 29-year-old joined other nurses in Adelaide on Tuesday in protesting about mandatory vaccination for healthcare workers, which came into effect in South Australia this week.

Varnhagen reporters at the rally she did not want to be "at threat" of losing her nursing job because of what she labelled as a "medical experiment".

Crows coach Matthew Clarke is not urging Varnhagen to be vaccinated but is hopeful her circumstances will change in the next two weeks.

If Varnhagen has not received a vaccination before November 19 she will be unable to train at the club.

She could be giving up her nursing and AFLW career due to her anti-vaccination stance.

"I hold out hope that something will change before November 19th," Clarke told SEN SA on Wednesday.

"She's continued to engage in the education from the medical team, from the AFL's medical team and we see that as the opportunity, but ultimately it's an individual choice.

"She's been training and doing all the work and been training really well.

"It's obviously been a challenging period for her, and for all organisations having to confront this new situation.

"But ultimately, one of the great things about footy clubs is you can come together, you can hold all sorts of different positions and try to focus on performance."

If Varnhagen refuses to comply with the AFL's vaccination policy, the Crows will be able to replace her on their list before the sixth season of the competition begins on January 6.

Clarke confirmed every other AFLW player at the Crows will soon have received both vaccine doses.

"The club's (view) is pretty clear," he said.

"We're really promoting vaccination and we think it's really important for the community and our industry.

"My perspective is that all of the medical advice and the health experts inform me that this is a safe and a really effective mechanism to diminish the impact (of COVID-19)."

Adelaide are attempting to rebound from last season's grand final loss, after the Brisbane Lions denied the Crows winning a third premiership.

Varnhagen played in the Crows' flags in 2017 and 2019 and has featured in 31 games across the first five seasons of AFLW.

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