GEELONG star Patrick Dangerfield believes winning the AFL premiership this year would be as legitimate as any other season, despite the unique circumstances created by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The season has already been cut to 17 rounds plus finals and quarter lengths have been reduced while it is unlikely any games will be played in front of crowds this year.
Dangerfield, who has never even played in an AFL grand final, said far from believing there was an asterisk over the season he was as desperate as ever to capitalise on the opportunity to secure an elusive flag.
“There’ll be some that will have that philosophy around ‘it’s just one of those years that it doesn’t really matter,'” Dangerfield told The Phil Davis Podcast.
“As an athlete, as someone that’s played in the game for 13 years, it’s as good an opportunity as any to win a grand final.
“They’re still going to hand out a grand final, unless obviously we’re cut off halfway through. But if the season is run through as it’s been planned at 17 (games) well then the legitimacy is still there.
“It’s arguably one of the toughest seasons that anyone will have to endure with what all players, coaches and people within the game have gone through – I think it’s still very much legitimate.”
Dangerfield said the unique circumstances presented an opportunity for well- prepared teams to snatch a premiership.
“They’re still giving it out, we’re all going to have to make sacrifices in order to get the game back going again but it could be – from what’s been a horrific start to the year – it could be one of the great years in terms of your own approach to the game,” he said.
“And if we’re about winning grand finals, this is your chance to win one and take it with both hands and do what you need to do in order to prepare yourself to win.”
(C) AAP 2020