Last week in the AFL...

The following information is provided by Tim Murphy - [t.murphy@rmit.edu.au], distributed via news groups and email and is updated here Monday evenings after the weekends games. All credit for this information goes to Tim and is being used with permission.

Around the grounds - Weekly Wrapup

2000 AFL Fixture Summary

Isn't this supposed to appear in November, you say? Well normally yes, but with the Olympics' stipulation that no major sporting event take place within a fortnight of their bunfight everything's been moved forward. Of course a local, idiosyncratic event of limited appeal like the Olympics has no chance of pulling a crowd in the face of the global sporting juggernaut that is footy. So here's the draw for next year.

Call John Elliott what you like - bigoted, loud-mouth, shifty yob springs to mind - but dumb he ain't. Carlton's watertight deal to have the AFL schedule 16 games a year at Princes Park has played havoc the fixture following the Bulldogs' departure for Colonial (Docklands). Melbourne, Richmond, Hawthorn, St. Kilda, the Bullies and Collingwood all have to play a home game there. Yep, Collingwood play their home game against West Coast in round 11 at Princes Park. Isn't that just lovely? Even worse, if you're playing away against Carlton you've got 'em at Princes Park too. Even Collingwood and Richmond. In the entire league only Essendon don't have to go there.

Round One is a dog's breakfast, starting on Wednesday, March 8 with a night game at the 'G between Richmond and Melbourne. The next night there's the first game at Colonial Stadium, Essendon against Port. The round doesn't finish 'til the following Monday night. There's no game in Melbourne on Saturday or Sunday daytime due to the Car Race, because the Grand Pricks stipulate that no sporting event blah-blah-blah. I'd like round 2 altered because our cricket presentation night is on, and our club rules stipulate...

Adelaide

Four 99 finalists in teams played twice. Play Carlton at Princes Park again, but the Blues don't come to FP.

First seven games (teams played twice, reverse venues for last seven games rnds. 16-22): Footscray (home), Collingwood (away), Geelong (home), West Coast (away), Brisbane (away), Hawthorn (home), Port Adelaide (away). Venues: Football Park 12 (11 home), MCG 3, Colonial 3, WACA, Gabba, Princes Park, Kardinia Park 1 each. Interstate: 10 Club comment: "We're quite happy...One of the things we were looking for was less dominance of the Sunday games. We've gone from 13 back to 10, which is fair and reasonable. We've got 10 Saturday games. I think, all-up, it's fine." Steven Trigg, communications manager.

Brisbane

First four games are interstate because the Gabba is being used for something to do with Olympic soccer. Pretty tough although they get four in a row at home later on (rounds 16-19). Most visits to Melbourne are to Princes Park.

First seven games: Carlton (A), Footscray (A), Hawthorn (A), Port Adelaide (A), Adelaide (H), St. Kilda (H), Fremantle (A). Venues: Gabba 11 (all home), Princes Park 3, Football Park 2, Colonial 2, MCG, Kardinia Park, Subiaco, SCG 1 each. Interstate: 11 (most) Club comment: "It's a monumental task putting together a draw to satisfy 16 teams in five cities, particularly in an Olympic year where the season starts ahead of normal. Unfortunately, we have to live with some of the pain because we are starting behind the eight-ball over the ground issue. Our ground is unavailable for the first four weeks of the season, so any home-and-away format in the draw is simply not possible." Andrew Ireland, CEO.

Carlton

Ten home games at Princes Park, including matches against Collingwood (round 18) and Richmond (round 22). The MCG and Colonial are vacant both days (Sundays) allowing a transfer. Only home game away from PP is v Essendon, at the MCG in round 5.

First seven games: Brisbane (H), Hawthorn (H), Collingwood (A), Footscray (H), Essendon (A), Port Adelaide (H), Richmond (A). Venues: Princes Park 11 (10 home), MCG 6 (1 home), Subiaco 2, Football Park, Colonial, Gabba 1 each. Interstate: 4 Club comment: "Collingwood's reaction has been relayed to me. But I think it's an issue that they should take up with the AFL. There's 16 games going to be played here next year. We're not too fussed who plays as long as there's 16 games here...The Collingwood game will be a real bonus, one of the old-fashioned suburban clashes and it will be a big day." Stephen Gough, CEO.

Collingwood

Home game at Princes Park - against West Coast, round 11 - is the one that really sticks in the craw. Also face the Blues at Princes Park, round 18. Play 5 of this years' finalists twice, a tough one.

First seven games: Hawthorn (A), Adelaide (H), Carlton (H), Sydney (A), Footscray (A), North Melbourne (H), Essendon (A). Venues: MCG 11 (7 home), Colonial 5 (3 home), Princes Park 2 (1 home), Football Park 2, Gabba, SCG 1 each. Interstate: 4 Club comment: "Obviously, we're very concerned by the home game at Optus Oval (Princes Park). The short answer is we don't want to play there. We feel that both the MCG and Colonial are vacant that day. So there is a potential to move that game. We see it as an issue between the league and Carlton Football Club in terms of their obligations there and we're hopeful that it will be resolved and that the game will be played somewhere else." John May, CEO.

Essendon

Uniquely amongst all teams they don't have to play at Princes Park because they're such a drawcard. Remains to be seen how many games are transferred from Colonial to the 'G.

First seven games: Port Adelaide (H-CS), Richmond (H-MCG), Fremantle (A), Hawthorn (A), Carlton (H-MCG), Footscray (A), Collingwood (A). Venues: MCG 10 (5 home), Colonial 8 (6 home), Football Park, WACA, Gabba, SCG 1 each. Interstate: 4 Club comment: "It will be great for both Essendon and Port Adelaide to create history by playing the first game at Colonial Stadium and we're happy to be playing four times interstate after playing five times interstate this year. We've got big home games against Collingwood, Carlton and Richmond at the 'G and we'd like to be able to make the St. Kilda game a blockbuster there, too." Peter Jackson, CEO.

Footscray

For the fourth year in a row, first game is interstate. Most frequent visitor to new Colonial Stadium. Home game at Princes Park, v Carlton no less, round 19. Following in the Roos' footsteps with a home game in Sydney at the SCG, v Sydney round 10.

First seven: Adelaide (A), Brisbane (H), Port Adelaide (H), Carlton (A), Collingwood (H), Essendon (H), Hawthorn (A). Venues: Colonial 12 (9 home), Princes Park 2 (1 home), MCG 2, Football Park 2, SCG (home), Gabba, WACA, Subiaco 1 each. Interstate: 6 Club comment: "We are delighted; we are the team most drawn to play at Colonial Stadium with 12 matches there. That is great. Obviously, playing four of our first six matches at Colonial sets the theme well for us next year. Looking at the bigger picture, we are happy. We travel quite a bit, six occasions, but one of them is at our own behest. We are pleased to play only one (home) game at Optus Oval, but it has the extra challenge of playing Carlton." Mark Patterson, CEO.

Fremantle

Not bad. Have traditional Anzac Day-night fixture, v Brisbane, round 7. Six trips to Melbourne but only one game at the MCG.

First seven games: Geelong (H), Port Adelaide (A), Essendon (H), Richmond (A), Melbourne (H), West Coast (A), Brisbane (H). Venues: Subiaco 9 (8 home), WACA 3 (all home), Colonial 3, Football Park 2, Princes Park 2, MCG, Kardinia Park, Gabba 1 each. Interstate: 10 Club comment: "We're pretty happy. We get nine Saturday games - they have their negatives and positives, but the positives are that it gives you a longer week to prepare for the next one. We get three at home (West Coast as an away team) early in the year, so it gives us a chance to establish a bit of home form." Mark Riley, assistant coach.

Geelong

Two of first four interstate could make for a tough opening. An eight-week spell (rounds 7-14 inclusive) without a game at Kardinia Park.

First seven games: Fremantle (A), St. Kilda (H), Adelaide (A), North Melbourne (A), West Coast (H), Melbourne (H), Sydney (A). Venues: Kardinia Park 8 (all home), Colonial 5 (3 home), MCG 3, Football Park 2, Subiaco 2, Princes Park, SCG 1 each. Interstate: 5 Club comment: "We've got an eight-week gap without games at Shell Stadium (KP), but we're not overly concerned. We're going to turn it into an event for the Geelong people. We want to use it as an opportunity to build up the fun factor." Frank Costa, president.

Hawthorn

Play five of this years' finalists twice. Consecutive games in Adelaide rounds 5 and 6. Home game at Princes Park, v Fremantle round 13.

First seven: Collingwood (H), Carlton (A), Brisbane (H), Essendon (H), Port Adelaide (A), Adelaide (A), Footscray (H). Venues: MCG 11 (10 home), Colonial 4, Princes Park 2 (1 home), Football Park 2, Subiaco, SCG, Gabba 1 each. Interstate: 5 Club comment: "We are pleased with our draw; it gives us an opportunity to relocate our members to our new home ground. We have 11 MCG games and 12 games on Saturday afternoons. Six of our first nine are at the MCG. The only down side is that we play five out of this years' top eight twice. But we are pleased and look forward to the year." Michael Brown, CEO.

Melbourne

Maximum possible (for Vic clubs) six interstate trips. Home game at Princes Park, round 10 v Brisbane. Play 15 games on Saturday night or Sunday, allowing attendance of club president Rabbi Joe Gutnick - a specific request of his. Only three of this years' eight are played twice.

First seven: Richmond (A), North Melbourne (H), Sydney (A), St. Kilda (H), Fremantle (A), Geelong (A), West Coast (H). Venues: MCG 10 (8 home), Colonial 5 (2 home), Football Park 2, Princes Park (home), Subiaco, WACA, SCG, Kardinia Park 1 each. Interstate: 6 Club comment: "On balance it's a reasonable draw for us, with home games at the MCG against big-drawing clubs such as Essendon, Collingwood and Carlton. With a couple of home games at Colonial Stadium we will be able to get a clearer picture of the financial plusses or minuses of playing there and it's good to have three of our first four matches at the MCG." John Anderson, CEO.

North Melbourne

Four more home games at the SCG, against Sydney, Port, Richmond and St. Kilda. Play only two of this year's top eight twice, and none of the top four.

First seven: West Coast (H), Melbourne (A), Richmond (A), Geelong (H), Sydney (H-SCG), Collingwood (A), St. Kilda (A). Venues: Colonial 8 (4 home), MCG 6 (3 home), SCG 5 (4 home), Princes Park, Football Park, Subiaco 1 each. Interstate: 7 Club comment: "There would have to be some anxiety amongst our members at having four home games at Colonial Stadium and only three at the MCG. It certainly wasn't what we asked for - we asked for five at the MCG and two at Colonial - but suffice to say we'll make sure that the areas and the camaraderie that we've enjoyed at the MCG, we'll transform those to Colonial." Greg Miller, CEO.

Port Adelaide

They're angry for some reason (see club comment). Five games in Melbourne, three of which are at Colonial. Two games in Sydney.

First seven: Essendon (A), Fremantle (H), Footscray (A), Brisbane (H), Hawthorn (H), Carlton (A), Adelaide (H). Venues: Football Park 12 (11 home), Colonial 3, SCG 2, MCG, Princes Park, Gabba, WACA, Subiaco 1 each. Interstate: 10 Club comment: "It obviously presents a major challenge. We've got a full quota of road trips again which we're disappointed with. Two Sydney trips, two Perth trips, the Brisbane trip. We've only got five games in Melbourne, which doesn't help growing a supporter base there. Some of our home games in Adelaide are 12.10 games (starting time)...I don't think that's conducive even to our home support. All-up, it doesn't fulfil any of our criteria so we're disappointed." Rob Snowdon, football manager.

Richmond

Home game at Princes Park, round 4 v Fremantle. Drawn to play Carlton there, round 22. Two games at the SCG. Otherwise OK.

First seven: Melbourne (H), Essendon (A), North Melbourne (H), Fremantle (H-PP), St. Kilda (A), Sydney (A), Carlton (H). Venues: MCG 11 (10 home), Colonial 4, Princes Park 2 (1 home), SCG 2, Gabba, Subiaco, Football Park 1 each. Interstate: 5 Club comment: "We're reasonably happy with it. We're not happy to be playing at Optus (Princes Park). We're also very unhappy that Essendon isn't playing at Optus and everyone else is. We see it as a competition problem." Jim Malone, general manager.

St. Kilda

Home game at Princes Park, round 21 v Brisbane. Two games in Sydney. Play interstate in final round (North in Sydney) for the fourth year running.

First seven: Sydney (H), Geelong (A), West Coast (H), Melbourne (A), Richmond (H), Brisbane (A), North Melbourne (H). Venues: Colonial 11 (10 home), MCG 4, SCG 2, Princes Park (home), WACA, Subiaco, Gabba, Kardinia Park 1 each. Interstate: 6 Club comment: "We're satisfied other than our round 21 home match against Brisbane, which is at Optus Oval. Our deal was to have nine home games at Colonial Stadium plus two blockbusters at the MCG. As it is, we've been given ten at Colonial plus one at Optus and we don't play either Essendon or Collingwood at the MCG as home games. We've made our opinion known and they're prepared to talk to us." Don Hanly, CEO.

Sydney

Pretty damn good. Thirteen games at the SCG with away games v North and the Bulldogs scheduled there. Five consecutive games at the SCG rounds 3-7 inclusive. Play only two of this years' finalists twice.

First seven: St. Kilda (A), West Coast (A), Melbourne (H), Collingwood (H), North Melbourne (A-SCG), Richmond (H), Geelong (H). Venues: SCG 13 (11 home), Colonial 2, Subiaco 2, MCG 2, Princes Park, Football Park, Kardinia Park 1 each. Interstate: 9 Club comment: "Thirteen games in Sydney is obviously a plus for us. We were keen to move away from the 12:40 timeslots, but we got a couple of those, although they've been shared with Brisbane and Adelaide. With 16 games in Sydney (including North's and Footscray's home games), we'll have to see what happens there. If you asked me now, I would say I'm not sure that Sydney is ready for a game every weekend." Kelvin Templeton, CEO.

West Coast

Alright. Also play only two of this years' finalists twice. Just one game at the MCG but four at Colonial.

First seven: North Melbourne (A), Sydney (H-Sub), St. Kilda (A), Adelaide (H-WACA), Geelong (A), Fremantle (H-Sub), Melbourne (A). Venues: Subiaco 9 (8 home), WACA 3 (all home), Colonial 4, Football Park, Gabba, Princes Park, SCG, MCG, Kardinia Park 1 each. Interstate: 10 Club comment: "There are a couple of glitches, but overall it's just a draw. We're not happy with late starts at the WACA Ground. We can't get families there for the late games. We've got a five-day break between games in one instance, but I guess other clubs will have that. We've only got one game at the MCG but at the end of the day we've got four at Colonial, which is the other major stadium. You can't have it both ways." Trevor Nisbett, CEO.

Cheers, Tim.

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Author: Tim Murphy Email: [t.murphy@rmit.edu.au]
Curator: Darryl Harvey email: {darryl@myinternet.com.au}
Last Updated: 6 September 1999
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