The AFL has announced that clubs will return to training next week with the 2020 season to continue from Thursday, June 11.

GIANTS players and football department officials will return to clubs on Monday, with all clubs to complete a 3.5 week training block before matches officially restart. 

Clubs will initially train in maximum groups of eight, before resuming full contact training from Monday, May 25. 

“Today is a significant step in getting footy back for everyone - our fans, our clubs, players, coaches, officials and staff, our broadcast and corporate partners and club partners and all who love the game,” AFL Chief Executive Officer Gillon McLachlan said. 

“We know as this situation continues to evolve, we have to remain agile and flexible to be able to adapt where necessary while ensuring we continue to prioritise the health and welfare of our players, staff and the wider community and - importantly - don’t place any burden on the public health system. 

"We have developed our model as the best option for returning to play for both players and officials and the general public and have done so following extensive consultation, including with the Federal, State and Territory Governments and Chief Health Officers. 

“I want to thank the Prime Minister, the various ministers, State Premiers and Chief Ministers and all the Chief Health Officers for their on-going support and guidance. 

“All through this evolving pandemic we have anchored every decision in-line with the advice of the respective government and relevant medical authorities. Our return to play plans and our timings is evidence of that.” 

“Our industry understands the opportunity we have been given and we also fully understand and accept our responsibility to our football family and to the wider community.” 

In order to maintain flexibility and given that some states still have restrictions in place, the AFL will release the remaining 144 games plus finals of the fixture in blocks of up to 4-6 weeks. 

The first block of games will be released over the next 10 days with games in the early part of the season being scheduled at AFL venues in states that have approved full-contact training and matches. 

At this stage, the 2020 season will go ahead with no crowds with the AFL to be led by the relevant Governments on the ability for crowds to attend matches going forward.