Deniliquin’s Todd Marshall is looking forward to participating in full contact drills for the first time since the Coronavirus pandemic started.
Port Adelaide Football Club expressed its intent to start full contact training when the South Australian Government announced exceptions for social distancing restrictions on Tuesday.
The government determined the Adelaide Crows and Port Adelaide fell ‘‘within the ambit of elite athletes’’.
The clubs were set to relocate to the Gold Coast on Sunday but are instead staying within the confines of the state for the next three weeks to continue training.
West Coast, Fremantle and both SA clubs are relocating to the Gold Coast within three weeks and will not travel outside Queensland throughout the first block of games in the season restart.
The schedule is due to be released by the AFL.
Marshall and his Power teammates were able to lace up their boots last week under strict training guidelines.
As of next Monday, SA based players can begin full contact drills and will build to full match play scenarios within the week.
‘‘We heard we’d be staying in town for a few more weeks on Tuesday,’’ Marshall said.
‘‘It’s good for the older boys with families to stay around them for longer, and good for the younger players to train with full contact for longer before heading up the coast.
‘‘We’ve only had a couple of sessions so far but it’s good to get back into it.
‘‘It’s been weird, we’ve been split into groups of seven so far with one coach to each group.
‘‘We go and do our session and leave straight away.
‘‘Our coaches have a plan to get us back up and running to full match fitness within three weeks before we head to Queensland.
‘‘We will start with basic stuff early in the week and get in to match play later.’’
When the team travels to Queensland in June, staying at premier golf resorts Palm Meadows and Royal Pines.
The resorts are close to GC Suns home ground Metricon Stadium, and 80km from the Lions home base at the Gabba, where clubs are expected to play.
Players will have access to all the resorts’ facilities while staying there.
Marshall said he isn’t getting his hopes up with local restrictions that can change between now and when the team arrives.
‘‘The Queensland Government and AFL could change the restrictions they have but it won’t be fun if we’re just in the hotel rooms when not in training and on game days,’’ Marshall said.
‘‘So hopefully by the time we head up, the Queensland Government loosens restrictions.
‘‘Hopefully we take a good squad to Queensland and I get picked but until then it’s a bit of a waiting game and training as hard as we can.’’
Following the AFL’s announcement that the season was suspended after round one back in March, Marshall returned home to Deniliquin to isolate.
As restrictions lifted on the golf course, Marshall did his best to swing off the rust in his family rivalry.
‘‘The first two weeks I was in self isolation so I couldn’t do too much besides run on the treadmill and use some gym equipment,’’ he said.
‘‘After that (isolation) I played golf most Saturdays with my brothers and cousin and it was good to catch up with them.
‘‘I wouldn’t say I was hitting them great but I’ve certainly hit them worse.
‘‘Leigh Marshall may be the worst golfer I’ve ever played with though.’’