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Crows skipper respects Varnhagen jab call

Adelaide captain Chelsea Randall says it’s up to Deni Varnhagen whether she changes her mind on the COVID-19 vaccination.

The Crows put the dual premiership defender on their inactive list late last week after Varnhagen confirmed she would not have the COVID-19 vaccination.

Varnhagen, who works as registered nurse in intensive care units, has been in discussions with the Crows over her jab stance and reiterated her position this week.

It means the 29-year-old will not meet the requirements of the AFL’s vaccination policy.

Under the policy, all AFLW players and football staff are required to receive their first vaccination by November 19 and be fully vaccinated by December 17.

Randall was asked on Monday whether she thought Varnhagen might change her mind.

“That’s probably a decision for Dani, isn’t it? It’s probably more a question for her,” she said.

Randall added it had been a unique situation that was challenging for the player and the club.

“We respect her decision, we love Deni as a person and the decision’s been made now,” she said.

“We’re just going to focus on our footy, rolling into next season.”

Randall said the Crows are staying in touch with Varnhagen.

“It was a mutual decision obviously, putting Deni on the inactive list, and she’s said she’s going to keep training hard,” she said.

“What that looks (like) for us is to remain in contact with Dani and support her.

“Deni and I had conversations, but obviously that was something between us – more just caring about her.

“She entitled to her decision.”

Asked if she tried to change Varnhagen’s mind, Randall said: “as I said, you just have to respect – everyone’s entitled to everyone’s opinion, but the club’s stance is with the AFL and endorsed with being vaccinated.

“We strongly encourage that.”

Randall was reappointed Crows captain on Monday.

She was co-captain with Erin Phillips from 2017-20 and had the role by herself last season.

Stevie-Lee Thompson has been elevated to the leadership group, joining Sarah Allan and Eloise Jones.

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