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A Season Like No Other: AFL 2020

AUTHOR: Ashley Browne

A Season Like No Other: AFL 2020 explores how the AFL navigated a season that changed day-by-day for fans, for the clubs, and for the players and coaches.

The 2020 AFL Season was like no other in the game’s 162-year history. As coronavirus struck down Australia during round one, in March 2020, the AFL was forced to take unprecedented steps to keep its season alive. The season was postponed at the end of round one, a round without crowds, and resumed on 11 June, a hiatus of 84 days. During that period speculation was rife as to whether the season could proceed, and where. ‘Hubs’ became the key word, and the fixture was rebuilt to allow for 17 matches — with clubs playing each other once. By July, as COVID-19 ravaged the country and economy, teams were quarantined, under strict protocols, in NSW and QLD. By the end of July, the WA teams and SA teams were back in their home states, playing before reduced crowds, but all VIC teams had relocated to NSW, QLD, and WA. In one 14-day period, Collingwood was fixtured to play four games.

This is the story of how the AFL, the clubs, the players, the coaches, the administration, and the fans coped with history in the making.

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