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AFL players unlikely in WAFL 2020: Monaghan

East Fremantle coach Bill Monaghan believes it’s difficult to see Fremantle or West Coast Eagles listed players involved in a shortened WAFL season in 2020.

The West Perth 2013 premiership coach said with quarantine hubs set to be come a reality in 2020 for the two WA based AFL clubs, it’s ‘impossible’ to see how Dockers and Eagle listed players could be given the green light to play.

“I can’t see any way that AFL players will participate in a WAFL season this year,” Monaghan told Sports Drive on Wednesday.

“If there is a hub in Victoria and Queensland and the Eagles have to take 35 players for that, I can’t see how they can participate in a WAFL season.”

The comments came ahead of a scheduled meeting between club members on Friday, that will focus on the restructuring and eventual commencement of the season.

Monaghan stated he had not been told anything specific about the make up of the competition in 2020, but personally believed there would be some football this year.

“I’ve been involved in a couple of meetings at club and WAFL level and you talk to a lot of people in the industry. I think we have probably gone from less likely to play to the point where it’s 50-50, and now my personal belief is there is more chance we will play than we won’t.” he said.

The 51-year-old said the season would be dependant on crowds in order to help clubs financial woes.

“We need crowds for revenue to be generated to cover our costs, that’s our big challenge.”

With the WA Government relaxing social distancing restrictions this week, the Sharks are preparing to train again in small groups of ten from Monday.

“We think we’ve got some measures in place that will minimise any risk of contact, we’ve got two car parks we can alternate players out of, we’ve got two sets of change rooms and a football oval is a fairly big area of space so we think the ten person limit won’t be a problem.” Monaghan said.

The former longest serving coach of the Falcons said he would like to see a return to the traditional finals format of a top four system, should the season only have 8-9 games before arriving at a post-season.

“I think if you play everyone once that’s a fair season, I think our greatest challenge is not only what the home and away series looks like, but how we then determine then a premier in terms of a finals series,” he said.

“What I would encourage if we can get a nine-game season in, I’d like to see a top four system. I’d hate to see we award a premiership to who finishes on top or have a top three with two and three battling it out to play the minor premiers. I want a legitimate finals series.”

Monaghan expects injured defenders Matthew Jupp and Durak Tucker to be available for the start of the season if and when it commences.

IMAGE: The West Australian.

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