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Staff were kept away from players at Essendon this week as the club looked to Covid protocols to stop a virus spreading

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Essendon coach Brad Scott revealed the club put Covid-style measures in place this week and had “avoided catastrophe” after a virus swept through his staff with expectations his side won’t be impacted for Sunday’s clash with the Gold Coast.

Preparations for the clash with the Suns had been impacted as Scott worked with a “skeleton staff” to get his team, which is second on the ladder having won eight games through the opening 11 rounds, ready for the trip north.

Measures included players working in smaller training groups before reverting to normal on Thursday with the coach insisting no players had been caught in the outbreak.

“If there’s a silver lining out of the Covid era and hubs and protocols, we’ve certainly enacted our protocols very quickly to minimise the risk,” Scott said on Thursday.

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“All our players are fine but we’ve got a skeleton staff because we’ve kept our staff away.

“Enacting the protocols was pretty quick and pretty swift and, touch wood, we’ve avoided catastrophe.

“It’s more separating staff. We’ve had a bit of a different week in terms of meetings and how we’ve structured that. But it’s actually been really impressive to watch our players adapt to different circumstances.

“It’s also a sign that our players want to do more, not less. I’ve been really impressed as to how they adapted what we set yup this week.

“Every week just throws up a different challenge.”

Essendon has only lost two of 14 clashes with the Gold Coast, hasn’t lost to the Suns since 2014 and is on a hot run of form which has created expectations of breaking a finals winning drought which dates back to 2004.

Despite the hype, Scott said he was content to be “boring”, for his players at least, with no thought of anything beyond the task at hand with no use of the “F word” just yet.

“Not the one you’re thinking of,” he said.

“It sounds boring, but all those things down the track will be the sum total of what we do between now and that point.

“We’re just focused on the process that we go through and that process has held us in good stead until this point in the year.

“The risk for us is we take our eyes off what’s important right now and start thinking or even imagining what is possible.

“We want our fans to be excited, we feed off that excitement. But our fans want us to be focused.”

Harrison Jones will return from a one-match suspension, which could mean Nate Caddy misses out despite an impressive debut in last weekend’s hard fought win over Richmond.

Nik Cox has also been given the all-clear after being subbed out of the Tigers clash with a hamstring issue.

Originally published as Staff were kept away from players at Essendon this week as the club looked to Covid protocols to stop a virus spreading

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