AAP AFL

Worsfold urges dating maturity in AFL hubs

By AAP Newswire

Essendon coach John Worsfold says players and staff are expected to show maturity as questions are raised about the rules of dating amid AFL coronavirus restrictions.

As part of restrictions around the season restart, players are not permitted to have visitors at their homes - bar their partner, a family member or close friend providing care or support - effectively discouraging casual dating.

Worsfold said Essendon's players and staff members understood the risk posed to the competition if they contracted the coronavirus through irresponsible behaviour.

"So what we're trying to do is make everyone - not only the players, but everyone that's inside this hub - be aware of the risk factors," Worsfold told reporters.

"They all understand that if they get infected through not taking the appropriate measures, they put everyone else (firstly) at our club at risk - the playing group and the other staff - but (also) the competition as a whole.

"So, being smart about where the risks lie and weighing those risks up and making the good decisions around that.

"So a lot of maturity (is) expected from the players and from the staff that are in the hubs."

St Kilda's Jack Billings lives with his partner so is unaffected but said some of his teammates were seeking clarity around dating.

"You obviously can't have people around to your place unless you're in an intimate relationship with (them)," Billings told SEN Breakfast.

"So I think a few of our players are trying to specify what that actually means and get some clarity around it."

Melbourne defender Jake Lever said some players were "disappointed" but emphasised the importance of protecting the industry.

"I've got a little baby at home and I've got a wife - so lucky for me, but the single boys, there has been a few murmurs around that they're really disappointed," he said.

Collingwood president Eddie McGuire said the restrictions asked players to show restraint in their personal lives.

"I think what it's saying is 'just calm down a bit guys - let's just keep the visitors down to a minimum,'" McGuire told Triple M's Hot Breakfast.

"Quite simply, there's no point going through all this if suddenly 'randoms' are coming from everywhere."