AAP AFL

Giant shifts from hotspot to Mumford house

By AAP Newswire

GWS are ready to decamp if the AFL asks them to flee Sydney because of the COVID-19 pandemic, having already taken the proactive step of finding Nick Shipley a new temporary home.

A coronavirus cluster in south-western Sydney has prompted the NSW government to tighten restrictions on pubs and clubs.

Another major spike in COVID-19 cases would likely result in further restrictions; a prospect that prompted the NRL to consider shifting its entire competition to Queensland.

The NRL ultimately opted against taking that drastic action, but Australia's two major football codes continue to watch the nation's latest outbreak closely.

The vast majority of the Giants and Sydney Swans' players live closer to Coogee than Casula, where the Crossroads Hotel carpark has become a COVID-19 testing centre.

However, local academy product Shipley's family home is in Campbelltown and that area has been declared a COVID-19 hotspot by the Queensland government.

Shipley, who travelled to the Gold Coast as an emergency for last Sunday's match, has moved in with teammate Shane Mumford to ensure he will be able to enter Queensland with the squad on future trips.

GWS are scheduled to play at Giants Stadium during the next two rounds, but a stint outside NSW looms large regardless of the severity of the health crisis in Sydney.

"We continue to rely on the advice of the AFL, who have handled it in very agile fashion," Giants chief executive Dave Matthews told SEN.

"We have been clear from the restart that as a club we're prepared to play anywhere, at any time.

"We're prepared, as other clubs have had to be, to move interstate and go into hubs if that's what is required to continue the competition.

"The competition can respond quickly and I'm really confident that our club will be in that category, if and when that's something we need to confront."

The Giants and Swans aren't the only clubs that could potentially be affected.

Melbourne, Brisbane and Hawthorn are currently based in Sydney, while Gold Coast will head home this weekend after a stint in Wollongong.

GWS football manager Jason McCartney suggested Shipley, who had been living with his parents, dealt with the sudden change well.

"Nick's fine ... we just have to follow whatever the protocols and government regulations are, so our players are available wherever we are playing," McCartney said.

Former Giants co-captain Phil Davis suggested he and teammates were only focused only on Saturday's clash with the Lions.

"If you get too caught up in what might be, you can give yourself a pretty big headache and you lose track of what's important," Davis said.