The Western Bulldogs’ round three AFLW Pride Round fixture against Carlton on Sunday afternoon will not proceed as planned.
Following thorough medical screenings this week as some Bulldogs players emerged from AFL Health and Safety Protocols, it was deemed that a significant number would remain unavailable for selection for this Sunday’s game.
The players’ health and safety remains paramount, and the current impact on the squad means the Club was unable to meet the minimum team requirements of 16 primary listed players and five top-up players as per the AFLW Covid Match Rescheduling Guidelines.
“The health and wellbeing of our players is the number one priority, and we’re currently in a position where it’s not in their best interest to be undertaking high intensity exercise,” said Bulldogs’ Head Doctor Naomi Harris.
“Players impacted are being closely monitored by our medical team to make sure they are able to safely return to exercise and perform at their best level.
“We have had a significant portion our playing list affected by COVID-19 in the last week, with some players still remaining in isolation.”
Western Bulldogs’ General Manager of Women’s Football, Debbie Lee, said the Club was in an unfortunate position to ask to postpone a match which has special significance to all involved.
“It’s been a difficult process for us to undertake this week, knowing how much the Pride Game means not only to our players, staff and the Club as a whole, but to so many people who’ve been so strong in supporting this special event,” she said.
“I’d like to acknowledge our Bulldog Pride Supporter Group for their ongoing commitment to the Pride Game, and our members and fans who continue to strongly support our women’s football program.
“We are committed to ensuring we find another opportunity to celebrate Pride throughout the 2022 season.”
This weekend’s Brisbane Lions vs Gold Coast Suns match will also not go ahead, with the Lions to host the Blues in a fixture reshuffle early next week.
“While COVID-19 continues to impact the competition, the health and welfare of those in our game and the wider community remains the priority,” said AFL General Manager Competition Management Laura Kane.
“We will continue to monitor the situation and will work closely with both clubs on a revised fixture and, together with the AFLPA, support all players impacted.
“We remain committed to delivering a full season in a safe manner anchored in the advice of respective governments and public health officials.”
For supporters who have purchased tickets to attend the Western Bulldogs vs Carlton match, Ticketmaster will issue a refund. No action is required from the ticket purchaser.