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the grounds - Weekly Wrapup
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
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...
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,
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,
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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,
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.
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
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.
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