Experienced defender Brad Sheppard admits West Coast will have to “suck it up” when the club relocates to Queensland to restart the AFL season next month.
The Eagles have planned to be on the Gold Coast for up to a month but concede it could be longer than that.
The time frame will depend on when Western Australia’s tight border restrictions are lifted to allow teams to fly in and out of the state without serving a 14-day quarantine period upon entry.
For now, Sheppard said West Coast are charging full-steam ahead towards June 11 and preparing to ramp up preparations when they resume full-contact training on Monday.
“I’m just happy that there’s a return date to play AFL footy,” Sheppard told TAB Radio.
“We’re up on the Gold Coast initially for a month, hopefully we don’t go over that, but it is what it is.
“For us to play AFL footy, that’s what we’re going to have to do and we’ve just got to suck it up.
“I’m really looking forward to going over there and hopefully winning games of footy because that’s what we’re all here for.”
There is renewed hope for Adelaide and Port Adelaide that they might not have to go to the Gold Coast hubs after all, with the South Australian government granting the two clubs exemptions to train at full capacity at home from next week.
The Crows and Power are hopeful SA’s coronavirus restrictions could be eased further and allow them to fly in and out of Adelaide for matches by mid-June.
But WA Premier Mark McGowan has remained steadfast in his commitment to his state’s hard borders, declaring this week they could be in place for “months to come”.
That would make it much more difficult for West Coast to claim a second premiership in the space of three years, while also posing a challenge to cross-town rivals Fremantle.
But the Eagles have deliberately adopted a positive mindset to the task of spending an extended stint away from home.
“If you look at it any other way it will bog you down,” Sheppard said.
“It’s out of our control now.
“We understand what the AFL provides for players, our staff, the public and our fans, so we’ve got to accept what’s going on with the Gold Coast.
“Hopefully going to be nice and warm, you’ve got to take the positives out of it.”