Freo coach in dry dock as COVID close contact

AFL, featured, Justin Longmuir

Fremantle’s Justin Longmuir has become the second senior AFL coach to be placed into COVID-19 protocols within a fortnight and will miss the derby clash with West Coast.

Longmuir has been forced into isolation after being deemed a close contact to a coronavirus case outside of the club.

It means Longmuir will not be able to coach in Sunday’s match against the Eagles at Optus Stadium.

Instead, assistant coach Jaymie Graham will get a second chance at coaching an AFL club after filling in for Adam Simpson at West Coast back in 2018.

“Our first priority at this stage is the health and well-being of Justin and his family,” Dockers football manager Peter Bell said.

“We will provide all the necessary support that Justin and his family require.”

“We have an enormous amount of faith in what is an extremely capable coaching group and while it’s not ideal that Justin will be dialling in remotely, we know Jaymie and the rest of our coaching team will do a great job.”

Bell said all Fremantle players and football staff had returned negative results after completing RATs on Thursday.

“We have been hyper-vigilant in our endeavours to mitigate the risk COVID poses to the daily operations of the club and we will continue to do so,” Bell said.

“It is a further reminder just how prevalent COVID is in the community.”

The Eagles are coming off their own coronavirus troubles after being forced to call-in top-up players for last week’s game against North Melbourne because they did not have enough available squad members to choose from.

Carlton coach Michael Voss was forced to watch the Blues’ victory over the Western Bulldogs last Thursday from home after testing positive to COVID-19.

Voss will return to coaching from the ground on Sunday when Carlton face Hawthorn at the MCG.


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