FORMER AFL footballer Jackson Merrett believes whichever team handles the uncertainty of a coronavirus-impacted season best will be this year's premier.
Merrett, who played 56 games for Essendon, told The Main Break podcast embracing the curve balls was crucial.
"I think it's quite evident across the competition different teams have adapted and others haven't," the Cobden-raised Merrett said.
"I suppose it's part and parcel with the industry they're involved in, that you have to be able to move and adapt with the times. Those that do come out on top."
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Merrett, a self-confessed "footy nuffie", tries to watch most AFL games a week.
The wingman, now plying his trade with WAFL club Peel Thunder, was proud of how his former club approached the Conor McKenna COVID-19 scare late last month.
"As for Essendon I think they've handled and dealt with things quite well," Merrett said.
"I am sure the majority of the players there have built up quite a resilience over the last four or five years at Essendon (due to the supplements saga) being in the media's eye I suppose on quite a few occasions."
Merrett, who described playing alongside younger brother Zach at AFL level for the first time as a career highlight, said there was "no real clarity" in the match review system.
It comes after Zach was suspended for one week for a strike on Carlton's Jack Silvagni. He will miss the Bombers' Friday night clash against Collingwood.
"He is rather disappointed. I think the AFL and match review panel as a whole has a lot of grey areas," Merrett said.
"Whether it's on the outcome. You looked at Tom McDonald's bump on Tom Stewart, broke his collarbone and doesn't receive a fine, or you look at Reilly O'Brien's sling tackle on Jarryd Lyons and he gets a fine.
"I think Zach as a ball player prides himself on his pressure."
Merrett said "things are looking a little more rosy" in Western Australia with Peel Thunder's season to start on July 18 with crowds.
The WAFL originally picked August 1 as its start date.