We are about halfway through the 2020 season (at least, we think) and it is finally starting to take shape.
Hawthorn coach Alastair Clarkson won’t look outside the AFL bubble for advice on how to handle hub life, suggesting it is important to trust your instinct and acknowledge each club will handle it differently.
The Hawks are one of ten Victorian teams to have shifted outside the state because of the COVID-19 outbreak in Melbourne.
Clarkson’s men lost to GWS on Sunday night at Giants Stadium then shifted into their temporary base at Crowne Plaza in Coogee.
The four-time premiership-winning coach noted the Hawks were bringing their entire squad into camp, unlike Richmond, as they prepare to face Collingwood in Sydney on Friday night.
The 356-game veteran says there is little to learn from studying rivals’ recent hub experience on the Gold Coast.
Clarkson also doesn’t intend on seeking advice from national cricket coach Justin Langer about how to best handle long stints away form home, as Brisbane mentor Chris Fagan has done.
“We’ve been around league footy for a long period of time. Cricket and other sports, it’s a different kettle of fish,” Clarkson told reporters.
“Cricketers are usually away without any coronavirus, so there’s no protocols and restrictions that provide constraints for them.
“We can search far and wide for all different ways you can go about it, but by and large you just have to trust your instinct on what you think is the best preparation for your own group of players and staff.”
Clarkson added there is no one single way to attack the unique hub lifestyle.
“We’ve got to find what best fits for us,” he said.
“We can ask West Coast what they’ve done. But they’re up on the Gold Coast, staying at a different venue, training at a different venue, different opponents and different breaks between games.”
Clarkson admitted his team will likely be forced to make two changes for their clash with Collingwood because of injuries, with Jack Scrimshaw (ankle) and Mitch Lewis (hamstring) both hurt in the loss to the Giants.
“We’ve got a five-day break, I’d say they’d both be doubtful,” Clarkson said.