Geelong Cats coach Chris Scott says he has faith in the club and its people to see through the current coronavirus pandemic and subsequent postponement of the AFL season.
Speaking to Footy Classified on Channel 9, Scott said putting plans in place now, but also being flexible as the situation evolves, was important.
“It’s a challenging time and I think it’s going to evolve quite quickly.” Scott said.
“The connection with the players is really important.”
“I think just as important as that connection, and the assistance we can give them, is making sure they don’t feel like they’re being watched all the time.”
“The reality is at the moment there is going to be no footy played until probably June at the earliest, and it could be longer than that, so we need to be really considerate about how we manage not only these next two month period but what it looks like going into 2021.”
Scott said he was “embarrassed” that his commitment to forgo his salary during the shutdown period had been made public and due to circumstances beyond his control he wasn’t able to let his wife, Sarah, know about his generous act.
“It was difficult, she didn’t expect it.” Scott said.
“And I certainly didn’t expect it to be made public before I had the chance to sit down and talk through it with her.”
However, the decision for Scott was a straightforward one.
“What we’re in at the moment is an existential threat and if we don’t survive it then I won’t have a job anyway.” Scott said.
“My attitude, and the attitude I’ve sensed from all our people really, is that we just need to do whatever we can in the moment to get through and back that things will work out as well as they possibly can.”
“The reality is I’m not sure how football will look at the end of all this.”
“But I’m hopeful I’ll have a part to play in it and I guess I’ve always believed that you do what you believe is right in the moment and have faith that everything will work itself out in the end.”
As to the future of football departments, the draft and the competition as a whole, he was philosophical.
“It really is a difficult situation to forecast and I think there is some danger in trying to forecast too much.”
“Our board at the moment, our football department, particularly Simon Lloyd and I, are working really hard trying to work out how we can try to prepare for some of the possibilities but it’s really hard because we’re dealing with humans.”
“I’ve got great faith in our football club and I’ve got great faith that if you do a good job, in the end things work out.”
With the future age of draftees being discussed amongst many other changes to the competition, Scott asked for more acknowledgment to the effect on young players being drafted at an important stage of their lives.
“I think if we were starting again, we wouldn’t be asking young players to go through the stress of being drafted when they’re in the most important educational year of their life.
“I think the loss of a year of AFL football for a Chris Judd-type is worth it for all those others who would be so much better prepared in their lives before they step into a footy club.”