Fremantle’s return home to Perth has officially begun with the truck containing the players’ larger luxury items departing the Gold Coast this morning.
The Dockers will play the final game of their five-match stretch in Queensland against St Kilda on Saturday and then fly home for two weeks in quarantine.
Midfielder Darcy Tucker said the club had been determined to put a clear gap between packing and playing, in a bid to keep everyone focused on finishing hub life with a win.
“All the luxury items like surfboards and golf clubs have been sent back home today,” Tucker explained.
“All we’ve got left is a suitcase to pack with us when we fly back on Saturday. We’ve really drilled in this week that there could be distractions with heading home and everyone looking forward to next week when we’re home but the main focus this week has been St Kilda.
We want to come away out of this hub with a win against St Kilda.”
The Eagles will pack their truck tomorrow ahead of Saturday’s game against Adelaide.
The clubs are yet to see any of the Victorian teams given the new arrivals are all in quarantine and only allowed to leave their hotels for training sessions.
Both WA clubs will enter quarantine for two weeks upon returning home and West Coast captain Luke Shuey said that will be a major shock to the system.
“It’ll be different. Obviously out family are there and we can see them but it’ll be arguably tougher than what it is up here,” he said.
“It’s been pretty nice up here. We’ve had it pretty good to be honest but we’ve got to do what we’ve got to do. At least the season’s getting underway and we’re able to play footy.
“While we are in quarantine we’ll still be able to get to the club every couple of days. We’ll be OK.”
Shuey said none of the players from other clubs contacted him before arriving in Queensland to seek advice about the hubs. He believed Victorian players’ lack of time between the decision to leave and the departure didn’t give them any opportunity to discuss the change.
Players are split throughout Queensland and New South Wales hubs as they prepare for this weekend’s matches and Tucker said simply returning to the comforts of home was the most exciting part about the impending flights.
“It’s probably just being in my own home again. Seeing my girlfriend and my dogs again,” Tucker said.
“We have to serve our two weeks quarantine but it’ll be awesome to be at my own home and sleeping in my own bed again. Obviously being away and being stuck in a hotel room for five weeks is a bit unusual.”