ESSENDON chief executive Xavier Campbell has stated his confidence that the season will resume in July.
The AFL continues its regular briefings of club bosses and those discussions have continued this week, with Campbell saying the League had canvassed a number of options about how football can return from the COVID-19 enforced break.
Included in that has been the possibility of the club being split into several groups of clubs and resuming in 'hub' formats to protect the game as much as possible from any further interruptions due to the coronavirus outbreak.
"I feel pretty confident that we're going to have a season," Campbell said on the club's website.
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"I'm becoming increasingly confident based on different insight from the AFL and others, but in terms of when it's really challenging to give a clear timeline on that because so much of it is out of the AFL's control and clearly we want to make sure we work really close with the government and those sorts of things.
"But even these concepts like the hub and what that would mean to how the season is delivered, that was news to me a couple days ago when it came out in the media and we've since had a high-level briefing on that as a concept. It's really hard to say it's going to go one way or another."
The AFL has put a halt to the competition until at least June, and Campbell said there was a growing optimism that games could resume within three months.
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"I feel relatively confident that in July we'll be back playing football, at the latest," Campbell said. "I don't say that with any great insight or as an educated insight but I feel confident.
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"Now, it's not going to be in front of crowds obviously, that's going to be a really challenging aspect for our members and our players who thrive off that but hopefully it's not too far after that.
"Again you can't hold me to it because we just don't know because it’s out of our control, but I feel relatively confident on that."