Kennett tips AFL to unveil full fixture

Shayne Hope
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Hawthorn president Jeff Kennett expects the AFL to release a full fixture before the season starts

Hawthorn president Jeff Kennett expects AFL clubs to be given a full schedule of remaining matches for the reworked 2020 season within a week.

The AFL will be clear to release its return-to-play plan after Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has provided an update on his state's coronavirus restrictions on Monday.

Some estimates have put the AFL season on track to resume in June, however, the league's plans will ultimately be shaped by state governments.

There are complications in planning around the fact some states have tighter travel and quarantine restrictions than others, which will likely prevent a regulation fly-in, fly-out model being used by all clubs.

The four AFL clubs from Western Australia and South Australia will likely have to play a sequences of away matches in order to restart the season.

They could then be given streaks of home matches later in the season to even out the fixture once restrictions are eased.

It means a floating or flexible fixture could be the AFL's best option.

But Kennett, who is part of the AFL's coronavirus steering committee, believes clubs will be given a level of certainty about the reworked 153-game schedule within days.

"I would expect that by the end of the week we will get an indication from the AFL what the schedule will look like," Kennett told 6PR radio on Saturday.

"Within five days (of Daniel Andrews' announcement on Monday) we'll get an outline of the fixture for the rest of the season.

"And probably, from all that I'm hearing, a start to the game in mid-June."

Adelaide coach Matthew Nicks said the Crows would make the sacrifice and temporarily relocate or play consecutive away games if necessary.

"Our preference would be to play home and away, obviously, to give us that advantage when we do play at home," Nicks told Fox Footy on Saturday.

"But we are 100 per cent flexible and we'll do whatever it takes from here to play footy.

"If that means we're forced to play away from home for a month or two months at the start of the season, maybe we can make that up later in the season.

"It will get done, whatever the AFL need us to do."

Port Adelaide chairman David Koch echoed Nicks' sentiments, noting South Australian Premier Steven Marshall's commitment to ensuring COVID-19 infection rates within the state remained low.

"The first couple of weeks we may have to play away and not play at home, that's just part of the right path for South Australia to take," Koch said.

West Coast and Fremantle are understood to be unhappy about the possibility of having to temporarily relocate but are unlikely to make a stand that would prevent the AFL season restarting.