WAG Alex Pendlebury lifts the lid on life inside the AFL hub and why it was ‘like a schoolyard’ –

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Alex Pendlebury has lifted the lid on life inside Queensland’s AFL‘s coronavirus hub. 

Alex, who is married to Collingwood champion Scott Pendlebury, was full of praise for the AFL administrators for making the hub work. 

‘We’ve all been living in the hotel like one big family and it’s seriously like a schoolyard and daycare all in one every day,’ she told the Herald Sun.

Alex, 32, married the Magpies team captain in Bali in October 2015 during the football off-season, and had their first child, Jax, a boy, in May 2017, with baby girl Darcy following in November 2019. 

The mother-of-two said relocating to Queensland had been a big move for the young family. 

Alex Pendlebury walks to the beach from the Queensland hub with son Jax and daughter Darcy

Alex Pendlebury with baby Darcy enjoying life in the Queensland hub in September

Alex Pendlebury with baby Darcy enjoying life in the Queensland hub in September 

Baby Darcy, 11 months, adapted easily. 

The move was a challenge, however, for three-year-old son Jax.

‘It was a huge change for Jax. Going from isolation at home, seeing no one but me to being in a hub with 400 odd people. It was a big change for him but we were really lucky,’ Alex said. 

Fourteen teams relocated to special football bubbles in Queensland and Western Australia to ensure the season continued during Melbourne’s horror coronavirus outbreak.  

Collingwood spent a month in Western Australia before insulating players and staff in a luxury resort in Queensland, in August, along with some of their wives and girlfriends. 

Collingwood champion midfielder Scott Pendlebury (left) with his wife Alex (right) and their son Jax

Collingwood champion midfielder Scott Pendlebury (left) with his wife Alex (right) and their son Jax 

The Mercure resort on the Gold Coast was one of the AFL's Queensland hubs that kept players, officials and their WAGs safe from coronavirus and the season on track

The Mercure resort on the Gold Coast was one of the AFL’s Queensland hubs that kept players, officials and their WAGs safe from coronavirus and the season on track

Alex, who is also a nutritionist, said ready-made Dineamic meals, founded by ex-AFL player Jason Johnson, had been a big help to the family in the hub. 

The family may stay in Queensland for a while, but Alex said they are keen to get home to Melbourne after three months of hub life. 

Collingwood bowed out of the finals race after a losing to Geelong on Saturday night in a crushing defeat. 

Last month, the Mercure Resort in Carrara on the Gold Coast stopped taking bookings after 400  players, game officials, children, nannies, swimming coaches and journalists complete their mandatory 14-day quarantine.

The luxury resort housing AFL stars and their WAGs was converted into an impenetrable fortress, complete with green mesh fences, security guards and warning signs to keep the public away.  

Padlocked gates around the Mercure resort in the Gold Coast stopping anyone entering or leaving (pictured in September)

Padlocked gates around the Mercure resort in the Gold Coast stopping anyone entering or leaving (pictured in September) 

The Mercure Resort in Carrara on the Gold Coast stopped taking bookings from the public in September due to being the designated AFL hub for 14-day quarantine

The Mercure Resort in Carrara on the Gold Coast stopped taking bookings from the public in September due to being the designated AFL hub for 14-day quarantine

Geelong Cats star Gary Ablett Jnr was among the guests spotted relaxing shirtless by the water in September and later playing footy in a fenced-off field with his baby son Levi and other kids quarantining. 

Most of the AFL season for 2020 has been played in Queensland, where hubs were set up throughout the state from Cairns to the Gold Coast to allow teams to play against one another in spite of COVID-19 restrictions. 

The Queensland government came under fire for allowing AFL hubs to go ahead while at the same time denying entry into the state for devastated families wanting to visit sick and dying relatives.  

Alex Pendlebury (pictured with husband Scott) admitted the move to Queensland was a challenge but praised the AFL for making it work

Alex Pendlebury (pictured with husband Scott) admitted the move to Queensland was a challenge but praised the AFL for making it work 

A woman is spotted in her swimmers sitting on her hotel balcony while working on a laptop at one of the AFL's quarantine hubs on the Gold Coast in September

A woman is spotted in her swimmers sitting on her hotel balcony while working on a laptop at one of the AFL’s quarantine hubs on the Gold Coast in September

In August, AFL reporter Sam McClure said the league had fielded numerous requests from players and their families to upgrade their living conditions including for extra food bills and to renovate their apartments. 

The AFL reportedly paid up to $3million a week to house 458 players and families in high-class locations including the 4.5 star Mercure Gold Coast Resort in Carrara. 

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