Damien Hardwick: 2020 flag might be the AFL's greatest

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Hardwick: 2020 one of the greatest flags ever (0:40)

Damien Hardwick says Richmond are well-prepared for the unique physical and mental challenge of the 2020 AFL season. (0:40)

Richmond coach Damien Hardwick has dismissed the notion 2020 will forever be remembered as a tainted football season, declaring "this will be one of the greatest premierships ever won."

The AFL was forced to put its home and away season on hold after just one round, following a series of restrictions imposed by state and federal governments to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Since the beginning of March, AFL chief executive Gillon McLachlan has introduced a raft of changes -- including shorter quarters, a reduced schedule and quarantine hubs -- which have culminated in the season being able to resume on June 11.

Hardwick, a dual premiership coach with the Tigers, believes the unique and unprecedented circumstances tied to the 2020 season will make the eventual victor stand out in the record books for all the right reasons.

"I know a lot of people are probably jumping up in arms a little bit with regards to it being an unfair playing field and it's going to be a little different," Hardwick told reporters on Monday. "But this will be one of the greatest premierships ever won in the AFL.

"The circumstances we're in present an enormous opportunity for our footy club and our players are very much looking forward to it, as are our coaching staff and our fans. I for one can't wait for it to start.

"We're very excited about what it may look like and the challenge it presents."

The Tigers, who returned to training at Punt Road on Monday morning, have been the competition's benchmark side over the past three seasons, winning two premierships in that period.

And while there are still many unknowns around the 2020 season, Hardwick is confident his troops will be in the best place to adjust and handle the situation.

"We've invented a game plan that we've been very fortunate to have three seasons playing," Hardwick said. "We've always evolved [and] I think it holds us in good stead.

"We've brought in some young talent but predominantly the 18-22 players that are going to form the basis of our side are on the track and training together right now. There's going to be some challenges, there's no doubt about that, but we're very confident we're going to put out a good product come Round 2 and the season thereafter."