The plan was to then play a practice match in Victoria on the weekend of January 16-17 before going to Western Australia for their first game of the AFLW season, against Fremantle on January 31.

The second leg of that plan has also been thrown into uncertainty with Western Australia closing its border to Victoria on Thursday.

The Giants are relocating to Albury ahead of round one of the AFLW season.

The Giants are relocating to Albury ahead of round one of the AFLW season.Credit:Matt Turner

The Giants are hoping that Victoria loosens its border closure with NSW in the next 14 days to allow border communities and/or regional NSW residents back into the state.

That would at least open the possibility of fixture changes so that the Giants could play Victorian teams to open their season (instead of the Dockers) should the WA border also remain shut.

There is also the possibility of hubs for the AFLW season but this is more difficult than with the men’s season because most women’s players work other jobs while juggling football commitments.

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The AFL is approaching 2021 the same way it did 2020, with the understanding that plans can change quickly because of COVID-19, and that they may have to change just before the season begins or even during it.

An AFL spokeswoman said: “We will continue to monitor the situation and will be led by the government and health officials when adapting to the changing environment. We are committed to the season and will adjust accordingly as required.”

Meanwhile, Sydney and GWS’ AFL sides plan to commence training on January 6 as initially scheduled, pending any changes to rules about group gatherings in NSW.



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