THERE’S no doubt the AFL’s return to play comes with its challenges for both players and staff.
Melbourne’s entire football department, and those associated with the league, have had to make sacrifices in the lead up to the competition’s scheduled restart in June, but Jake Lever is willing to do whatever it takes to get back out on the field.
“I found myself a few times yesterday in the session going to high-five someone and then looking the other way and going, ‘Actually I can’t really do that,’” Lever told Melbourne Media.
“So that’s probably going to be the hardest, but look, as long as it gets footy back, I won’t high-five anyone.”
Over the weekend, the AFL sent all clubs a 40-page document outlining the precautions needed to be taken, above and beyond the government’s restrictions.
While these pose as a challenge for some, Lever insists that it’s critical for all players and staff to abide by the rules.
“It’s really important to make sure that the whole industry is really safe,” he said.
“There’s 1300 people, or close to, that are going to be in contact with all the players, and obviously the players are included in that, so I think it’s really important that we follow these rules.
“Hopefully whenever the AFLPA and the AFL look to these rules again, if we can restrict them or get rid of some of them, that would be great.”
It’s no secret the 2020 season will look different, with interstate travel on game day another obstacle the players will have to overcome, but Lever is ready to embrace that and deal with anything thrown his way.
“It’s probably just going to have to be what it is,” he said.
“Every other team is going to have to do it … so I’ll probably just make sure I’m not sitting down on the plane for the whole time.
“It’s going to be a season full of different challenges.”
Watch below as Lever fronted the media before training on Tuesday morning.