SPORTING clubs from across the globe are contacting AFL clubs in search of information on how best to ease athletes back into training and playing post the COVID-19 lockdown.
Australia's sports scientists are considered leaders in their field and it hasn't gone unnoticed the AFL is one of the first sporting competitions to return, along with the NRL and Germany's Bundesliga.
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Hawthorn coach Alastair Clarkson is well known for his fact-finding missions overseas, particularly with the United States' NFL, which has provided an interesting case study from its 2011 lockout.
But Clarkson said the tables had turned this time around and AFL clubs were "pioneers" in getting back to play, although he kept the specific clubs to himself.
"(We've looked overseas for this) a little bit but not an enormous amount," he told reporters on Friday.
"This is a pretty unique event and it's difficult to try to look at what's gone on in other sports, given the significance of the time layoff we've had and the lack of contact you can have with one another.
"Strangely, there are a lot of sports actually looking at ours right at the moment (and) are trying to take some notes off what's going on in Australia, because especially the protocols have been driven so strongly by the leagues here."
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The Hawks, like every other club, resumed non-contact training this week at Waverley Park in groups of up to eight ahead of twice-weekly contact sessions starting on Monday.
"(The players) reckon they can't wait. Outside of maybe something with their partners, there's been very little contact," Clarkson said.
"They're competitive beasts – that's why they play this great game of ours, so they're looking forward to a bit of physical stuff next week.
"That's probably the thing they haven't been able to replicate in any of their preparation over the last six to eight weeks.
"Across all clubs across the League, they'd be pretty fit, these lads, but it's the combative type of stuff we need to try to pick up pretty quickly over the course of the next two to three weeks."
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Clarkson, as usual, is also one of the club people the AFL handpicked to make key decisions on the game's future, which at the moment include things such as list sizes, the salary and soft caps, and talent pathways.
He held fire on any public comments at this stage, other than to say there had been "robust discussion" and he expected the recommendations to be less brutal than what's been touted.
"I sort of look at it like it's an event that's occurred and the stock market has reacted to that," Clarkson said.
"In most cases, there is an overreaction to a significant event and then there's some form of correction.
"At some point in time, I feel like the League will correct itself and these cuts that are being mooted at the present time will get back to some sort of normality.
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"How long will it be before it ever gets back to what it was, or will it ever get back to what it was? I'm not too sure.
"But what I am very confident of, whatever the sacrifices we make in the next six to 12 months, we will return to a more profitable position, all clubs and the League, in the not-too-distant future."
Clarkson expects to have defender Blake Hardwick (chest) available for round two but Jarman Impey (knee) and Dan Howe (foot) are likely to return after that.