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‘It’s very different’: AFLPA boss hits back at critics of players

AFLPA boss Paul Marsh has hit back at anybody calling his players “soft” or “precious” amid concerns about the AFL introducing quarantine hubs to get the season back up and running.

It was revealed this week some players weren’t thrilled at the prospect of spending months away from family and friends.

It led to athletes from other sports, which are played globally, to mock the AFL’s attitude, given they do it regularly.

Former tennis player Sam Groth, who quit the sport because he found the touring lifestyle too taxing, was among the critics.

But Paul Marsh says the criticism wasn’t fair.

“Firstly, they (AFL players) don’t they don’t sign up for it,” Paul Marsh said on Sportsday.

“Secondly, they’re not going away from their families in the middle of a pandemic into hubs where you can’t actually leave.

“It’s very different to a professional tennis player, like Sam, where you can go and do what you please whilst you’re doing that.

“It’s a very different lifestyle.

“We expect there’s going to be criticism. There’s always going to be criticism of what positions players take.

“Do we think it’s fair in this case? No.”

Caroline Wilson said much of the talk had been overblown and that she expected the hub concept to ultimately get the tick of approval.

“I talk to a lot of players who don’t want their families there,” she said.

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