WHILE leaving home has been tough for Melbourne’s players, coaches and staff, the hardest part isn’t being crammed in a hub.
For captain Max Gawn, it’s leaving his loved ones behind in Victoria, as those back home deal with the COVID-19 crisis.
“Easily the biggest feeling I’ve felt since being here is more around shame for what I’ve left back at home and having to be in Victoria,” Gawn said on the club’s new podcast, Captain’s Run.
“Not that I really had an option to bring my wife up here because she does work full-time, but for me to be able to escape Victoria and be able to still follow my dream and my passion of playing AFL football and my wife to be back home, probably locked up for six weeks, that’s the feeling I’ve got with me in shame.”
Gawn, and his podcast co-host Angus Brayshaw, are among the 33 Dees players to have flown up to Manly on Sunday night, and although it is a sacrifice, they aren't taking it for granted.
“We are both very grateful to be able to continue our job,” Gawn said.
“We’re very lucky to be able to continue to play AFL and keep the industry alive.
“We understand we have left behind a lot of people that are struggling and I have no complaints about being here in Manly. Although we are in a hotel, but it will get a little bit easier for us as we go on through the hub and it seems like it’s just going to get harder for the people we’ve left back home.
“We understand the majority of our supporters are Victorian and hopefully this is a half an hour in their week that they can look forward to and bring a little bit of joy.
“But we completely understand that we’ve got a role within this industry to keep it going and we’ll be head down bum up and making sure we try and get some wins to bring some joy to footy supporters.”
Watch or listen to the full Captain’s Run podcast below as Gawn and Brayshaw dissect the hubs, but also have plenty of laughs with some special guests.