Western Bulldogs coach Luke Beveridge says his side feels fortunate to have the opportunity to relocate to the Gold Coast, given the current circumstances in Victoria.
A six-week lockdown period in Melbourne was enforced just days after Victoria’s AFL teams were sent to hubs in either Queensland, New South Wales or Western Australia.
The Bulldogs will call the Gold Coast home for the next period of the AFL season, with matches to come against Carlton on Sunday and Essendon next Friday at Metricon Stadium.
Beveridge said the Bulldogs were focused on the task at hand, while being empathetic of the situation back home.
“We’re really feeling for everyone in Victoria at the moment with the lockdown now,” Beveridge said on RSN Breakfast Club this morning.
“I think some of our families, and friends who some of the players were living with, were maybe looking forward to being able to socialize and have people around and take the shackles off a little bit.
“Obviously now that can’t happen.
“We’re feeling for everyone in Victoria, especially our families and our supporters who have been extremely loyal.”
The Bulldogs have a travelling party which includes every player on the list, and six families.
Beveridge hoped that togetherness would bond the group over a 14-day quarantine period and the rest of their hub life.
“In a way, we feel quite fortunate that we’ve been able to come away,” he said.
“As much as we’re sacrificing a bit… after the 14 days if Queensland is still in good condition, we’ll have some freedoms that everyone down south doesn’t have and we’ll consider ourselves lucky.
“The opportunity to unify, to bring everyone away together, to live together, to support each was a no-brainer.
“It was a critical thing for us to stick together.”