ESSENDON will invade enemy territory, Collingwood and Hawthorn head to the top end and Dustin Martin can go home during the AFL 2018 community camps.
Fremantle is getting in early, starting its camp today with a primary school visit near Mandurah. Dockers players will hold more events in the Peel and Wheatbelt regions this week.
But players from the other 17 clubs will wait until the new year for the annual training camp — although some clubs are travelling further than others.
Carlton players will conduct clinics in Melbourne’s northern suburbs and Warburton while the Magpies, Hawks and Demons all jet to the Northern Territory.
Some clubs will split their squads with the Pies scheduled to visit Tennant Creek from February 4-8 and Gippsland from February 5-6.
Richmond will visit Echuca and Bendigo, just up the road from Campbells Creek and Castlemaine where Martin starred as a junior.
The Giants might be doing the most travel of any club with their camp covering a region including NSW towns Wagga, Bathurst and Merimbula — a round trip of more than 1000km.
Essendon’s camp is set for the suburbs around Windy Hill and Campberdown, Cobden and Timboon in western Victoria on March 12-13.
The Bombers will also hold a training camp in February at Ocean Grove. It’s not clear if the three-night camp will clash with Geelong’s community camp in the same region on February 19-20.
“We had a look at a number of different locations throughout Victoria and Australia … but Essendon has got a few connections with Ocean Grove and the Bellarine Peninsula so that made it an easy decision,” Essendon high performance manager and former Ocean Grove Grubbers coach Mark Neeld told the Geelong Advertiser.
AFL manager of game development Andrew Dillon said the community camps were an important part of the AFL calendar.
“AFL community camps allow us to give back to the community for their love and support of our game,” Dillon said.
“Community camps are a great opportunity for fans to have access to their favourite players, regardless of (where) they live.”
2018 AFL COMMUNITY CAMPS
Adelaide Hills and South Adelaide (February 26-27)
Toowoomba, Bundaberg, Fraser Coast and Ipswich/Springfeild corridor (February 19-29)
Metro north — Darebin, Banyule, Whittlesea, Nillumbik, plus Yarra Ranges — Warburton, Yarra Junction and surrounds (February 20-21)
Latrobe Valley and Traralgon (February 5-6), Oakleigh local government area (February 5-6), Barkley, Tennant Creek, NT (February 4-8)
Essendon and Craigieburn plus Camperdown, Cobden, Timboon (March 12-13)
Peel and Mandurah region plus Wheatbelt region (December 7-8, 2017)
Colac plus Bellarine and Geelong (February 19-20)
Townsville (March 1-2), Gold Coast and Northern Rivers region (February 6)
Wagga, Griffith, Merimbula, Bathurst, Orange (February 28-March 1), Canberra (February 28-March 1), Western Sydney suburbs (February 14)
Katherine, NT (February 15-18), Tasmania (March 8-11)
Alice Springs, NT (February 22-23), Casey, Stonnington, Bundoora, Glen Eira (February 26-27)
Tasmania (February 26-27)
Yorke Peninsula, Port Lincoln, Ceduna, Yatala (February 12-13)
Bendigo, Echuca (February 12-13)
Kingston, Dandenong, Mornington Peninsula (February 12-13)
Sydney metro, Terrigal, Newcastle, Port Macquarie, Wollongong, Bowral, Coffs Harbour, Armidale, Tamworth (February 5-6)
Busselton, Port Headland, Newman, Perth metro (February 13-14)
Ballarat (March 1-2), Hamilton (March 2-3)