A Season Like No Other: AFL 2020 explores how the AFL navigated a season that changed day-by-day for fans, for the clubs, and for the players and coaches.
The 2020 AFL Season was like no other in the game's 162-year history. As coronavirus struck down Australia during round one, in March 2020, the AFL was forced to take unprecedented steps to keep its season alive. The season was postponed at the end of round one, a round without crowds, and resumed on 11 June, a hiatus of 84 days. During that period speculation was rife as to whether the season could proceed, and where. 'Hubs' became the key word, and the fixture was rebuilt to allow for 17 matches " with clubs playing each other once. By July, as COVID-19 ravaged the country and economy, teams were quarantined, under strict protocols, in NSW and QLD. By the end of July, the WA teams and SA teams were back in their home states, playing before reduced crowds, but all VIC teams had relocated to NSW, QLD, and WA. In one 14-day period, Collingwood was fixtured to play four games.
This is the story of how the AFL, the clubs, the players, the coaches, the administration, and the fans coped with history in the making.
About the author:
Ashley Browne has written about AFL football for 30 years. He spent 10 years with The Age and enjoyed two stints with AFL.com.au as managing editor and later as a senior writer. Since 2012 he has been the senior writer for the AFL Record, at AFL Media and, since 2019, at Crocmedia where his work also features on SEN.com.au and across various radio platforms.
He has edited, and contributed to, several football books for Slattery Media and in 2018 he was the joint editor of 'People of the Boot: The Triumphs and Tragedy of Australian Jews in Sport'. More to the point, AFL football is his passion. He is also the producer and co-host of The Golden Years podcast for Hawthorn FC, covering great moments in the club's history. He lives in Melbourne.
A Season Like No Other: AFL 2020
Hardie Grant Books
Author: Ashley Browne