All Suns, Lions players to have flu shot

Oliver Caffrey and Murray Wenzel
Brisbane Lions captain Dayne Zorko was happy to get a flu shot

Dayne Zorko's flu shot came with an added boost on Wednesday, the Brisbane captain admitting his return to club headquarters meant the start of the AFL was "just around the corner".

All Gold Coast and Brisbane AFL players have been ordered to receive the flu shot after the Queensland government's firm 'no jab, no play' stance for professional athletes.

The AFL has recommended players have the flu shot amid the COVID-19 pandemic but the vaccination is not compulsory, the league instead leaving the process to club doctors.

But any choice Suns and Lions players had was effectively taken out of their hands due to a decision from the state's government.

Queensland's chief health officer said players who choose not to get the shot will be banned from training or playing in the state.

Gold Coast chief executive Mark Evans said the club's players had shown no opposition to the vaccination while all Lions players filed through on Wednesday.

"We've been getting flu shots ever since I've been in the football club and there's never been an eyebrow raised," Zorko said.

"I was really pleased all the boys are switched on (by arriving for their shots in the correct timeslots) and that just goes to show the mindset they're in and that they want to get out there and going as quickly as possible.

"I get quite excited when I walk down the stairs, seeing Fages (coach Chris Fagan) ... you get the sense that it's just around the corner.

"You can probably tell by the smile on my face that I'm pretty excited for it to start again."

Two players, Bryce Cartwright and Brian Kelly, have been stood down by the Gold Coast's NRL team, the Titans, due to their refusal to be vaccinated.

Suns captain David Swallow last week said players should be allowed a choice in deciding whether or not to have the shot but Evans allayed fears of a similar stand-off on Wednesday.

"We've been working very hard with the AFL to make sure that we comply with all of the directions of each jurisdiction," Evans told reporters via video conference.

"Here in Queensland we've been following the chief health minister's advice and all of our players so far have had their flu shot.

"I think there might be a couple still to go - some players that were in Victoria that have returned here missed that initial time frame but that should be done by the end of (Wednesday)."

It is welcome relief for the Suns to have their players cleared to return to the club before training resumes as early as next week.