SUNS key defender Rory Thompson is gearing up to make his AFL return after almost two years since his last match.
Today the AFL announced its plans for a June 11 competition restart, with training set to resume on Monday for all AFL clubs.
Thompson, who injured his ACL on the eve of the 2019 season, said it was great to have clarity on what the next month looked like after 54 days without football amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It’s a really big relief for us because it’s just been a bit of a weird time not knowing what’s going on and you hear things every week that something’s coming,” Thompson said.
“To finally have a date that everything can look forward to, it means a lot.”
The 29-year-old missed the opening round of the 2020 season as he continued to rehabilitate his ACL injury, but is confident the eight-week break has been enough to build him back to full fitness.
“My body’s feeling really good and I should be ready to go for Round 2,” he said.
“I obviously didn’t get out there for Round 1 but this break has helped me spend a bit more time getting my body right.
“I’ve been full training for a few weeks now so I’ll be ready to go for the first game back.”
AFL CEO Gillon McLachlan also announced a Gold Coast hub for the interstate clubs from Western Australia and South Australia.
It would see the four clubs relocate to the Coast for a series of matches against both the SUNS and Lions.
Thompson said it would benefit not only the SUNS but the entire Gold Coast community having the interstate teams based in Queensland.
“It’s obviously good for us and good for sport on the Gold Coast having those big teams come and stay up here,” he said.
“It’s a great place for them if they have to do the hubs, the Gold Coast is just going to have great weather and great facilities.
“It’s a good spot for them to come.”
Players will return for non-contact training on Monday with full contact training allowed to resume on May 25.