North Melbourne coach Rhyce Shaw has stated the Roos must adapt to new interstate travel arrangements as he acknowledged the club is yet to receive details on their flight-sharing arrangement with Essendon.
Both clubs will play in Sydney on Sunday of the round two fixture, so due to the AFL’s desire to minimise travel both clubs will share a fight to and from Sydney.
North will face Greater Western Sydney in the early Sunday game at 1:05 while Essendon will face Sydney in the middle time slot of 3:35. This means that both teams will have to wait around for the other club for both games.
“We actually haven’t got full clarification around that but we’ll see how it goes,” Shaw told reporters at training on Tuesday.
“Again, we just have to do it. If we get the opportunity to play, we’ll play.”
“If we have to share with another team, we’ll do that. It’s not ideal, especially with that team, and we’ll just see how we go,” he joked.
Players will in most cases, at least initially, have to travel interstate and home again on the same day, as opposed to arriving sometimes two days prior to a game.”
Even with the challenges of the COVID-19-affected season, Shaw deflected questions that players will be greatly affected by different travel arrangements.
“It’s obviously not ideal but again we have to do it, so let’s get our heads around it,” he said.
“We’d love to travel the night before, feel really comfortable and get up in the morning and go for a walk and do that type of thing but we’ll be ready.”
“We’ll come up with some protocols ourselves around what that looks like, especially with a 1pm game with the travel and early morning, but we’ll be right, we’ll be fine and we’ll make the most of it.”
There was good news on the injury front for North with Shaw confirming captain Jack Ziebell has recovered from the medial-strain he suffered in the round one win against St Kilda.
Josh Walker (concussion), Majak Daw (illness), Ed-Vickers Willis (knee) and Paul Ahern (hamstring) have also recovered and are in contention for round two.
With Kayne Turner (big toe fracture), Luke Davis-Uniacke (groin) and Ben Jacobs (concussion) still unavailable, Shaw has stated spots are up for grabs in round two and good training from will be rewarded.
“Some of our form was a bit mixed in round one and some guys played some really good footy for the whole game but then there were guys who played patchy games of footy,” the coach said.
“We’re basing it on training form at the moment, so guys in good form, looking good and have done the work – we’re really keen to give them the opportunity.
“We’ve got our first main contact session today and they’re so important, because there are not many of them and we’ve really emphasised that going into this week.
“The boys have just got to perform, so whoever is in the best form gets a game.”