Sport

Marshall is playing the waiting game

By Jamie Lowe

Deniliquin footballer Todd Marshall is happy negotiations regarding pay cuts between the AFL and the AFL Players’ Association are over.

AFL players agreed to a 50 per cent pay cut until the end of May on Friday, March 27.

The pay cut will increase to 70 per cent if the season is delayed beyond May 31, but will stay at 50 per cent if matches return as planned.

While taking a massive pay cut is not ideal for Marshall, who plays for Port Adelaide, he was still quite upbeat about the situation.

‘‘I think I’ll be fine to be honest,’’ he said.

‘‘I feel pretty lucky to still at least be getting some sort of pay.

‘‘There are others who aren’t as fortunate out there that are losing their jobs and losing incomes.

‘‘I particularly feel sorry for assistant coaches and other staff members at the footy club who have essentially been put off until footy returns.’’

It has been an unprecedented time for the AFL, with the league playing its first round of footy from March 19 to March 22 with a ban on fans attending the game due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

Before the round had finished, the AFL announced its season will be suspended until May 31.

Marshall said he and the rest of his Port Adelaide teammates were on the plane home from the Gold Coast when they heard the news.

‘‘We were all looking on Twitter and the AFL website while on the plane to double check what had happened,’’ he said.

‘‘It felt so weird to find out that we had played our last game for at least two months.

‘‘The club did the ring around to confirm the news to us and then sent out our running and gym programs to try and stick by over the coming months.’’

Port Adelaide made a stellar start to their 2020 season with a 47 point win against Gold Coast, which sees the Power sit comfortably on top of the ladder with a percentage of 262.1 per cent.

Marshall had an impressive start to his season booting two goals and two behinds from his 10 disposals, which included four marks.

While most would have found it strange to play in front of an empty crowd, the 198cm tall forward had a different perspective.

‘‘It’s a little bit different, but we had been training without a crowd for so long that it didn’t change much,’’ he said.

‘‘Had we played in front of a big crowd the week before it might’ve been a tough adjustment but at that point it seemed business as usual.

‘‘The main difference was being able to hear everything on the field, which actually made things a bit easier.

‘‘It was good to get the win, as we thought it could’ve been a danger game after the Suns had such a good Marsh series.

‘‘We can’t read into being on top of the ladder too much at this stage though, but it’s definitely better than being on the bottom.’’

After landing back in Adelaide, Marshall and his teammates were informed they would have to go into quarantine for 14 days.

That quarantine period ended at the weekend.

‘‘I passed the time by following my training program, as well as watching plenty of movies and playing the PlayStation,’’ he said.

‘‘Now that quarantine is finished I’m keen to go out and play a few rounds of golf.’’