Unvaccinated Saint remains undecided as AFLW season start looms

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Two-time Saints best and fairest Georgia Patrikios remains uncertain whether she will adhere to the AFL’s vaccination mandate, with the start of the season less than two months away.

However, she remains open to the prospect of getting the COVID-19 jab in time to play for the Saints in 2022.

Georgia Patrikios is part of the new generation making their mark in the AFLW.Credit:AFL Photos

Patrikios has been on leave since the vaccination mandate was announced as she weighs up her options. She said in a statement she had not shut the door on resuming training with St Kilda.

“I’ve been taking some time away from the club to consider my options and dissect my owns feelings about receiving the COVID-19 vaccine. At this time, I remain unvaccinated, however I’m committed to learning more, consulting with additional medical professionals and continuing to discuss this with my family before ultimately making a final decision,” Patrikios said.

“I recognise that my personal timeline does not align with the AFL mandate and as a result, I am currently unable to complete my duties at the club.”

The 20-year-old is an emerging star having won the AFLPA’s best first year player in 2020.

Patrikios asked for privacy as she contemplated her decision paying credit to the Saints for their understanding and support.

Saints CEO Matt Finnis said the club respected the 20-year-old’s right to take her time, but he reinforced the Saints’ support for the Victorian Government and AFL’s vaccination mandate. Finnis indicated the club remained hopeful Patrikios would play for St Kilda in 2022.

“The club has opted to not place Georgia on the inactive list at this time, however we will obviously need to revisit this decision in coming weeks pending Georgia’s position as the commencement of the AFLW season fast approaches,” Finnis said.

The Saints lost Tyanna Smith to an ACL injury on the weekend ruling her out for the season.

Adelaide premiership player Deni Varnhagen has been placed on the Crows inactive list after deciding she did not want to vaccinated while Carlton’s Liam Jones retired from the game after choosing not to receive the vaccination.

The AFL’s vaccination policy made it mandatory for all participants to be fully vaccinated to play in 2022.

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