Quarantine over: AFL party exits Gold Coast hub
Almost 400 footy folk have exited the AFL's quarantine hub as they spread around south-east Queensland in preparation for next month's finals series.
Geelong champion Gary Ablett made the 20-minute drive from Gold Coast's Mercure Hotel to Southport, where he joined the Cats' training session this morning.
Ablett, wife Jordan and son Levi have spent the past 14 days mingling with AFL and club executives in the quarantine hub.
St Kilda's entourage drove north about 220km to join the club's Noosa hub.
Kayo is your ticket to the 2020 Toyota AFL Premiership Season. Watch every match of every round Live & On-Demand. New to Kayo? Get your 14-day free trial & start streaming instantly >
The Saints pack included midfield star Dan Hannebery, operations assistant Jarryd Roughead, list manager James Gallagher and physio Andrew Wallis.
The families and partners of several players and coaches completed their quarantine this morning and filed on to busses to meet up with their loved ones.
Richmond champion Jack Riewoldt's parents were among the AFL's 370 guests while Cats star Zach Tuohy's partner also flew up.
Every guest has tested negative to COVID-19 several times in recent weeks and the quarantine was closely monitored by Queensland's Health department.
VICTORIAN CLUBS LEARN HOME FINALS FATE
Victorian clubs will be given their choice of three venues for home finals, with that option set to extend through to preliminary final week for Geelong and Richmond.
The Cats and Tigers only need to defeat bottom-four clubs Sydney and Adelaide respectively in Round 18 to lock in the double chance.
If they both win qualifying finals - and secure home preliminary finals - the AFL will ask them whether they want to play for a Grand Final spot at Adelaide Oval, Metricon Stadium or the Gabba.
While the final call will belong with the league, the club's preference will be strongly considered.
The AFL will on Tuesday lock in its finals policy and structure, which will see week one staged from Thursday, October 1 through to Saturday, October 3.
The league considered opening the finals on a Wednesday night, however has decided to stick with its traditional format.
Either St Kilda, Collingwood, Western Bulldogs or GWS will finish sixth and secure a home elimination final.
That club will also be given the choice of three venues.
The Magpies will play their seventh game for the season at the Gabba next Monday and would be expected to select this year's Grand Final venue for an elimination final.
The Dogs have played at the Gabba just once and would probably feel more comfortable at Metricon, where they have played eight times this year and won five of their past seven.
The Saints are 2-0 at Adelaide Oval, 2-1 at Metricon and 2-2 at the Gabba, where they play again on Friday night against GWS.
The finals policy will safeguard Geelong and Richmond from playing a home preliminary final against Port Adelaide and Brisbane on their decks.
This year the Tigers are 6-0 at Metricon Stadium and 2-0 at the Gabba, where they haven't lost since 2004.
The Cats are 2-1 at Metricon and 3-0 at the Gabba.
West Coast can only play at Perth Stadium in week one, meaning the Eagles will only host a final if they remain fifth, as expected.
The Eagles are set to fly home after Thursday night's game against North Melbourne and would've completed the 14-day quarantine by week one of the finals.
If the Eagles finish fifth then the club which finishes eighth will head west and quarantine for seven days before the elimination final, which would most likely be played on the Saturday.
MORE AFL NEWS:
Originally published as Quarantine over: AFL party exits Gold Coast hub