AFL premiership player and new St Kilda recruit Dan Butler has returned home to Ballarat to wait out the COVID-19 crisis. Butler, who went to school at St Patrick's College, spoke to The Courier on Tuesday and opened up about how the coronavirus pandemic has impacted the football season. The AFL has suspended the season until at least May 31 due to the threat of the disease. "We got to take a fair bit of gym equipment from the club so I brought my stuff back to Ballarat," Butler said. "I'm just trying to stay fit in the morning and we have got a little bit of land back in Ballarat so I can still do a fair bit of running and stuff, especially if we go into stage four lockdown." READ MORE We're here and we always will be: The Courier's reporting of coronavirus What you should and shouldn't do if you're in coronavirus self-isolation How do I know if I have COVID-19? Butler played in Richmond's breakthrough 2017 premiership team, but after 45 games with the Tigers he was traded to St Kilda at the end of 2019. The 23-year-old made his debut for the Saints in round one of the 2020 season, which resulted in a two-point loss to North Melbourne at Marvel Stadium. Butler, who had nine disposals and kicked a behind, said it was a "weird" feeling playing in an empty stadium. "It was probably more weird that I was playing in front of an empty stadium than it was actually playing my first game for a new club," Butler said. "Once we were playing, you kind of don't really notice it to be honest. It's more the atmosphere before the game and after the game... "With all this, there's a little bit of silver lining where all the players get to go back and spend time with their family. It's something that not many players, especially interstate players, will get to do very often." Butler said he had no idea if the competition would eventually get off the ground following the May 31 postponement date. The Saints are scheduled to take on the West Coast Eagles at Marvel Stadium in round two, whenever that game is scheduled. Butler spent time as a youngster at the North Ballarat Rebels and was drafted to Richmond with the club's fourth pick and the 67th overall in 2014. During his time at Tigerland, he kicked 53 goals and was a Rising Star nominee during the flag-winning campaign of 2017.