On Monday 2 August, Melbourne travelled to Perth to begin its seven-day quarantine period, in preparation for its Round 21 game against West Coast the following Monday.
Eleven of the side’s players didn’t make the travels to Perth, with the assumption that they were to play for the Casey Demons in the VFL that coming weekend.
Unfortunately, that was not the case.
The VFL was once again forced to hit pause on its season, as Victoria headed into another lockdown.
With the disappointing announcement of postponed games, VFL coach Mark Corrigan said it was a particularly hard week for the eleven Melbourne players stuck at home, as majority of their team were on the other side of the country.
“It was a very challenging week for them,” Corrigan said.
“Had we known there was going to be no VFL, they would’ve gone to Perth with the whole group, but we thought at that stage there was still a VFL game and that’s why they were here.
“For them to process that 30 players are in Perth, they’re here and they don’t get to play a game, naturally they’re going to be disappointed and frustrated.”
The group of players instead attended a successful Saturday training session, with the aim to keep them as well prepared as possible for when a return to play was announced.
“Ultimately, what we tried to do was make sure that the training best represented what they were going to get in a game.
“Prior to training we touched on the fact that the session was another opportunity for them to keep making sure they were prepared for if and when they play AFL and their attitude was fantastic.”
One would assume that it would be easy to get overwhelmed by the inconsistency of the 2021 VFL season, but Corrigan said the players were handling it with maturity.
“The choice they had was to dwell on the frustration and then miss a chance to get better on the track or band together and make sure they got everything they could out of each training session.
“To their credit, they were brilliant, they got it done with great energy and really great quality, which as a coach, is great to see.”
This morning the VFL announced that the competition’s ladder would be reverted to the match ratio system of determining positions, due to the fact the league would be unable to facilitate the remaining number of matches for the season.
This means that instead of premiership points, the clubs will be ranked as a percentage of matches won divided by the number of matches played, multiplied by 100.
With this new ladder system, the Casey Demons remain in fifth position, a finals berth still on the cards for the side.
In addition to the above news, the VFL confirmed it was planning on having one final round to complete the home-and-away season, giving clubs the opportunity to fight for a spot in finals.
Round 19 Schedule (Venues, dates and times to be determined):
Carlton v Casey Demons