WEST Coast coach Adam Simpson does not believe the clubs forced to relocate for the season to resume should be made to travel for away games, as teams eagerly wait for the AFL to release its revised 2020 fixture next week.
Differing state travel restrictions will mean that West Coast, as well as Fremantle, Adelaide and Port Adelaide, will be forced to base themselves on the Gold Coast next month in order for the campaign to resume in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Eagles had initially been under the impression that Victorian and New South Wales teams would have to travel to Gold Coast to face both them and the Dockers, but the South Australian teams joining them in relocating could allow for the six Queensland-based teams to play each other in a mini round-robin series.
Current plans dictate that those four clubs will stay on the Gold Coast for at least the first four weeks of the season, with Simpson saying he is hopeful the AFL will now schedule a fixture that sees those teams play each other at Metricon Stadium during the opening month.
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"We haven't been given the fixture yet," Simpson told Fox Footy.
"As late as Monday, we thought it was just going to be Fremantle and West Coast on the Gold Coast. We thought there was going to be the possibility where teams would have to come up and play us.
"Our preference is we don't travel from the Gold Coast.
"The controllable from an AFL point of view is the next phase, in how we try and make things a little bit even … if we can and if it's possible.
"You wouldn't have thought the clubs that have to move to the Gold Coast under a hub situation would have to fly to play away games from there.
"That hasn't been delivered yet, so we'll wait and see. Now Adelaide and Port Adelaide are up there, so I'm assuming it's going to be some sort of round-robin fixture for the first four or five weeks where we'll play each other and no one travels."
The four clubs forced to move to Gold Coast have not yet been made aware as to whether their fixtures played in Queensland will count as away games.
However, Simpson said the common-sense outcome would ensure the West Australian and South Australian teams secure a run of home fixtures at Optus Stadium and the Adelaide Oval respectively throughout the back-half of the year.
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"We haven't been told," Simpson said.
"It's now over to the AFL. Once these protocols are put in place and everything is set in stone in what we're doing, then we'll try and get some sort of fixture that may equalise things a little bit.
"If we have to play multiple games on the Gold Coast, it would be great if we could finish off our season with some games in Western Australia.
"That's still to come, but I'm assuming that would be the obvious direction that things would take. I think everyone would be pretty accepting if that was the case."