Sam Walsh of the Blues handballs.
Sam Walsh of the Blues handballs.

Blues gun happy to move to quarantine hub

CARLTON Rising Star Sam Walsh says he's willing to do anything - including moving interstate for two months - to play footy again.

Walsh says he is "all for" a proposal to move clubs in groups to hubs interstate, where they could be based for extended periods as a way to resume the AFL season while limiting exposure to the coronavirus.

Stars including players association president Patrick Dangerfield have raised concerns about the "quarantine hubs" idea, but the Geelong star now concedes they are probably the only way to get the season started quickly.

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Walsh, who polled 54 of a possible 55 votes in last year's Rising Star award, also backed shorter turnarounds between games to fit in a full 2020 season in.

"I think I'm in a similar boat to most players and that is I'd be happy to go anywhere to play footy and if that's what we have to do, I'll be happy with that," he said.

"You look at all the other sports around the world, they have to travel away from their families and friends for large portions of the year, so if we have to do that for a couple of months or whatever it may be, I'd be all for it.

"As players and clubs we've got to be ready for anything and I think clubs that are able to embrace that challenge, whether it be shorter turnarounds or a lot of games in a span of a couple of weeks, then they're going to be the best performers.

"I know from our club perspective we're going to have a positive mindset with it all and feel like we've done the work and see it as a great opportunity no matter how the season is structured."

Walsh, who said he was using time away from Ikon Park to work on his upper body strength in a home gym at Ocean Grove, said he wasn't sure if younger teams like the Blues would be disadvantaged by a season no one had planned for.

"Whatever team is willing to embrace what the season is going to throw at them will probably have the best outcome," he said.

"Whether that will be the youngest or oldest team I wouldn't have a clue, but I think that's the exciting part about this season - there's a fair bit of unknown, hopefully we can attack it well and get a good result."



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