The AFL today announced their plan for a 2020 return to play roadmap. The Club wholly supports the decision and the fastidious work that has gone into making it in conjunction with both State and Federal Governments and their respective Health Ministers and looks forward to getting back to playing football.

Training will resume in groups of 8 from Monday 18 May, with a competition restart date confirmed for Thursday 11 June 2020.

Clubs will initially train in maximum groups of eight, before resuming full contact training from Monday, May 25.

All players and returning football department staff will have been tested for Covid-19 prior to returning to the club and undergone education sessions on the protocols they will need to follow, including rigorous ongoing screening and regular testing, throughout both the training and return to play period. This will also apply for umpires and AFL Match day staff once the season resumes.

Strict protocols will be in place to protect players, officials, staff and the wider public with all involved in the game regularly tested ahead of any contact sessions or matches.

Lions Chief Executive Officer Greg Swann welcomed the decision but emphasised the need to focus on stringent protocol to ensure the competition return was implemented in the safest possible way.

“Whilst we’re all excited that football can return, signaling another step towards a return to normality, we are resolute in our determination to follow health guidelines in order to ensure that a return to playing football is done in a safe manner for players, staff and the wider community” he said.

“COVID19 has impacted us all and taught us a number of lessons on what’s really important – family and health not the least of these. As a Club we intend to learn from these lessons moving forward.”

The announcement means that the Club can now outline plans for current 2020 membership holders and their options, something which has been a priority since the initial shutdown commenced.

“We’re delighted that we can now share information with our members on what their options are for 2020 and beyond” said Swann.

“The uncertainty surrounding this season has been difficult for us all, and we can’t thank our members enough for their patience and support while we waited for definitive information from the AFL and governments.

“We’ve had so many messages of support and pledges from our wonderful members throughout this time and it really highlights the community we’ve been able to build and their commitment to their team and seeing us get back to Premiership success.”

The Club will make contact with all of it’s members across the course of the next few weeks to confirm their individual membership options.