Star Saint Jack Billings has backed the AFL’s proposed hub system if a balance can be found with players with families.
Speaking live on Thursday morning to the exclusive 2020 St Kilda members’ Facebook group, Billings believed a hub was currently the best option.
“The reality is that if we want the season to go ahead, then I think the hubs definitely have to happen,” he said.
“I’m one of the AFLPA delegates along with Jack Sinclair, so we’ve had a few conversations over the past few weeks about what the hubs might look like and they’re still ongoing.”
But the youngest member of the Saints’ leadership group also acknowledged the difficulties associated with the hub model.
“I know a lot of my teammates have young kids, and it’d be very hard, especially on their partner or wife, if they’re gone for a long time,” Billings said.
“But at the same time, it’s our job, and sometimes that’s just life … other people in other industries have to make sacrifices to get through and get paid.
“But I know how important family is for everyone, and I don’t want that to be compromised. If we can find a happy medium with those two factors, that’ll be the best outcome.”
General Manager of Football Simon Lethlean echoed Billings’ sentiments in his confidence in the AFL’s top decision-makers.
“The AFL is working through all the potential options at the moment, and I have every faith they’ll come to the best possible solution that they can for all involved,” Lethlean told saints.com.au.
“Our players met with the AFLPA earlier this week and were provided an update of what all of the possible hub models could look like, but there is still so much to work through that they were just hypotheticals really.
“It’s important we don’t get too far ahead of ourselves as there’s still a lot of water to go under the bridge, and all the AFL can do is go off the best and most current advice from the relevant government and medical authorities as the situation evolves.
“The Saints are fully committed to helping the AFL get the season underway, but the health and safety or our players, staff and supporters remains paramount – a position that the AFL continues to maintain too.”