Curren wants earlier WAFL season start
Claremont midfielder Tom Curren is hopeful of the WAFL season commencing earlier than initially scheduled on August 1st, as COVID-19 restrictions continue to be eased around the state.
With local and junior football to start by early to mid-July, the former Saint saw the chance for the state league to follow suit.
“If I had it my way, I would love to be playing this weekend,” Curren said on Sports Drive on Wednesday.
“I feel like not just personally but as a group we’re pretty fit, we’d be ready to go. Earlier the better from our point of view.
“The longer it drags out, other clubs and players have got more time to get fitter, stronger and tactically more ready. We feel like we’re placed pretty well at the moment.”
Discussions appear to be underway around moving the season start date forward for the WAFL, as the roadmap to play phases continue to be ticked off.
Phase 3 is currently in operation as of last Saturday, allowing clubs to train together as full squads with contact training allowed.
Phase four is yet to be enacted, which will allow for matches to occur. Upon activation of phase five, matches will be able to occur with spectators.
Curren saw no reason why the competition couldn’t begin in the month of July.
“Love to move it forward to be honest, but I understand clearly there’s parameters that we have to be held to, we have to fall in line with those,” he said.
“Whether that’s finance or what that might be I’m not quite sure, but I’d love to have the season start moved forward if it’s my choice.”
The 27 year old didn’t play a game at league level in 2019 because of a serious neck injury, coming back late in the season to play in Claremont’s Reserves Grand Final side.
Having not made an appearance at league level since August of 2018, Curren is no stranger to spending time on the sidelines and said the enforced COVID-19 break had given him some perspective.
“It hasn’t been enjoyable, but everyone is in the same boat. You have to think bigger picture,” he said.
“People have got small businesses they have had to either sacrifice or it’s put them back financially. That has rippling effects from a health and wellbeing point of view. Then there are others affected who are bringing up families.”
“I don’t have either of those, so I can only consider myself lucky. In that period of time I have just tried to think about the opportunities.
“For me that’s about getting as fit as possible in preparation for when the season does resume, in hope that it does.”
A midfielder, Curren was confident of winning his spot back as part of a star studded midfield that includes Sandover Medallists Jye Bolton and Kane Mitchell, as well as former North Melbourne midfielder Declan Mountford.
“I want to play league footy again, and not just play I want to succeed and thrive in the environment. That’s not just at a personal level, imagine winning a flag in the year that’s been already?” he said.
“That year that was compromised heavily from a preparation point of view, it’s an eight-game season. It’s just something you can tell people that if they weren’t around or unaware of the situation, to explain that, how good’s that of a story?”
More announcements on fixtures and the make up of the fixture are expected in the coming weeks, with teams back in to contact training ahead of the season start.