Quarantine hubs ‘would be weird’: Guelfi
Essendon young gun Matt Guelfi is willing to play round-robin matches in quarantined environments if government restrictions are lifted and football is cleared to resume in certain states.
The 22 year old who was drafted from Claremont in 2017 last week made headlines for dying his hair pink while in isolation, told SportsDrive on Tuesday that he was willing to play in quarantine hubs around the country, but the concept would take a little while to get used to.
“Yeah I just want to get back and play footy, however it gets done,” Guelfi said.
“Depends where you go, I heard we might go to Queensland or Tassie, that would be a bit weird but I’m sure all the boys would be pretty happy just to be back playing footy, trying to bring a bit of enjoyment back to the community.”
The quarantine hubs is one idea touted by the AFL commission to get the season back underway at a date beyond June 1st, the earliest current return date for the 2020 season.
According to reports the competition would be broken in to three pools of six, with all six teams playing games against one another in one state over a three or four week period.
Guelfi said the players had been given no return date for the season or to return to their clubs.
“It’s a lot of wait and see, they’ve been saying June maybe August, we’re not really sure.” He said.
“I guess you just have to stay as fit as you can and keep working on things and be ready for when it comes, whenever that is.”
Now back in Perth, Guelfi has been training at home with his two brothers and former Claremont team mate Bailey Rogers, in a bid to keep himself fit and ready to go if and when the season resumes.
Guelfi had assumed a new role across half back in 2020 after playing both up forward and in the midfield in his first two seasons, but hopes to move in to the midfield at the Dons once established at the level.
“At the moment I’m really enjoying playing off the half back line, I think it suits me a bit, if you are on a good opponent they will take you to where the ball is.” He said.
“I’m really enjoying the defensive side of the game and trying to bring a bit of offense the other way, but eventually I would like to become an inside midfielder.”
Guelfi, who played 24 senior games for Claremont in 2016-17 before being recruited to AFL level at age 20, also lifted the lid on ‘taxi gate’ after being injured and taken to hospital from Optus Stadium in a taxi in round 14 last year.
“I don’t really remember the whole taxi thing, I’ve seen a few videos and stuff on it, bit of a weird experience.” He said.
“I think the club and the AFL wanted to get me there as quick as possible and they didn’t want to take the ambulance which is when it’s more of a life threatening injury or risk, so my family and everyone were pretty happy for me to go in the taxi,”
“I think the club paid the fare.”
IMAGE: Essendon FC website.