Season set for February start, hubs planned as back-up

AFLW PLAYERS could be forced into hubs for the upcoming season as the League attempts to get the semi-professional competition back up and running.

Women's footballers are anxiously awaiting news on the 2021 season after this year's edition ended without a premiership being awarded due to COVID-19.

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AFL boss Gillon McLachlan said he anticipated the season getting underway in early February, as normal, with nine rounds and three weeks of finals.

But adding to the complexity of staging a season is most AFLW players have jobs outside of football and might struggle financially if they are away for long periods of time.

"We need to have contingencies for the uncertainty," McLachlan told reporters on Friday.

"We know that we need to have a fixture out in the first week of December, that's the latest they can wait before they make decisions about work, their employment.

"If we need to we can go into hubs, our preference is not to, but we'll have the contingencies together in case."

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The majority of men's teams relocated interstate for much of the 2020 season, but Australia's coronavirus situation is dramatically different to when clubs frantically headed out of Victoria in July.

The fifth AFLW season was cancelled after the first week of finals when the pandemic started disrupting the world in March.

The AFLW draft was held in October as Richmond secured elite-kicking midfielder Ellie McKenzie with the No.1 pick.