AFL confirms June 11 return date, training from Monday

AFL CEO Gillon McLachlan has confirmed the 2020 season will resume on June 11, following a telephone hookup with club presidents and CEOs on Friday.

Speaking to the press from Marvel Stadium, McLachlan confirmed the return date and a return to full contact training on May 25, with the fixture to be released at a later date.

"Our AFL competition is returning. From Monday, all clubs will return to training, and all AFL clubs will resume full contact training a week later on May 25," McLachlan said.

"The competition will resume on June 11. All players are being informed of protocols they need to follow. This will also apply for umpires and key match day staff.

"Today is a significant step for getting footy back for everyone. We know as this situation continues to evolve, we have to remain flexible to adapt. We need to prioritise the health and welfare of everyone."

McLachlan said details surrounding the fixture were still up in the air and it would be released in blocks "in order to maintain flexibility", with the first block of four-to-six games to be confirmed "over the next 10 days".

He added if there are no setbacks, a Grand Final may be played in "mid-to late October" given the 17-game season protocol in place, and said there will not be any changes to the finals structure, with a four-week finals series to remain.

The MCG is still the likely venue for the Grand Final, although the T20 Cricket World Cup begins in mid-October, with the first scheduled game at the MCG set for October 25. It's still unclear if that tournament will be held due to the coronavirus fallout.

It's also expected players will be tested up to twice a week once the season has resumed, while families will be allowed to join players in any 'hubs' which eventuate - one of which is confirmed on the Gold Coast.

West Coast, Fremantle, Adelaide and Port Adelaide will relocate to a Queensland hub due to border and quarantine restrictions in West Australia and South Australia.

Other key takeaways:

  • The AFL will cover all costs for all players and staff in the quarantine hubs

  • Families will also be allowed to stay in the hubs -- funded by the AFL -- but will be subject to the same protocols as players

  • The Crows and Power will stay at the Mercure Resort and Eagles and Dockers at The Pines Resort

  • The fixture is fluid, and will be released in four-to-six-week blocks

  • The clubs in the Queensland hub will all play one another in the first block

  • Finals to remain as a four-week series with no wildcard

  • Grand Final still likely to be played at the MCG in October, despite the T20 World Cup set to commence in the same month

  • The interchange bench may increase to six for this season