Carlton’s AFLW squad avoids Covid issues that have hit Richmond and Adelaide
Every member of Carlton‘s AFLW squad will be fully vaccinated when the season starts in January, with players “all on-board” as the AFL prepares to release its vaccination policy.
Victorian government vaccine protocols mandate players and staff have to be vaccinated to train and play, a ruling that came before any mandate from league headquarters as the state prepares to open up.
A Richmond AFLW player last weekend tested positive for Covid-19, forcing a scheduled training session to be cancelled.
But Carlton AFLW coach Daniel Harford revealed all Blues players and staff have had at least one jab, with the majority already receiving two after recently beginning pre-season training.
Adelaide premiership player Deni Varnhagen was this week revealed as the first known AFL or AFLW player to refuse to be vaccinated and is continuing to train with her team.
There is no vaccine mandate in South Australia, but there are growing expectations only fully vaccinated players will be allowed to play, at least in Victoria, when the AFLW season starts.
Most Victorian clubs have complied and Harford said Carlton was “pretty lucky” all players were on-board
“As a club, we’re really encouraging all our players and staff to get vaccinated,” Harford said on Wednesday.
“We’re pretty lucky, we’ve had all of our players get involved in that. We don’t have any issues.
“I was very happy to have my vaccinations done because I see pretty good advice from all the health authorities and the officials.”
Carlton captain Kerryn Harrington said the players were “happy to get on-board” despite a call from AFL Players Association boss Paul Marsh for those who are yet to make a decision on vaccination to be supported.
“It’s been pretty clear to us what we need to be able to do to be in at the club and training,” Harrington said.
“We respect everyone’s rights to make their own informed choice, but obviously for us we were all very happy to get on-board with the vaccination policy.
“It’s just another step for us being able to move forward and be in at the club and doing what we love.”
Harrington said coming into pre-season out of a lockdown in Melbourne, for the second time in two seasons, was less daunting this time.
“We were much more prepared for it,” she said
“We did things a lot better than we did last time which made us more prepared coming in.”
The AFLW season is due to get under way on January 6.
Originally published as Carlton’s AFLW squad avoids Covid issues that have hit Richmond and Adelaide
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