PLAYER managers are advocating for increased list sizes to be allowed within the AFL's planned quarantine hubs, with fears unselected squad members could become the forgotten victims amid the game's return to action.
In a meeting with the AFL Players' Association on Wednesday night, leading player managers questioned how footballers not picked in the likely reduced squads within hubs could push their case for senior selection.
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The concern extended to how those left behind could negotiate future contract extensions if they're not playing senior football, as well as whether there would be a second-tier competition for them to compete in when the game does ultimately resume.
As reported by AFL.com.au earlier this week, senior players have threatened to stand down for the remainder of the season if families can't attend quarantine hubs that will likely be established in June.
It comes after a 'worst-case scenario' was put forward to more than 500 players via an online hook-up on Tuesday afternoon, that would see some footballers isolated in hubs for 20 of the season's remaining 21 weeks.
However, speaking on Thursday morning, leading player manager Marty Pask of i50 Management said those left behind should also be a key factor in determining exactly how hubs look.
"That's the key concern, I would say," Pask told radio station SEN.
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"That's going to be the hardest one. If you allow 32 players into a hub and there's up to eight players left back at home and they're not selected and can't push their case forward, what's reasonable in that situation and what's reasonable for that player?
"What happens to the second-tier competitions and how do they then actually put their hand up and say, 'Hey look, I'm OK for selection'? All of this comes down to how much and how many players you can actually bring into one of these hubs.
"It's going to be a very interesting situation and this is where the anxiety of being a professional athlete – making sure the resources and helping these players as best as you can – needs to be considered at the forefront of everyone's minds.
"If that does happen, there's obviously going to need to be a lot of support for those players."