Cats want Monday night stage to close AFL season

By , Ben McKay is a Roar Guru

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    Geelong have pitched to close the AFL’s home and away season with a Monday night blockbuster against Greater Western Sydney.

    The league has yet to schedule the floating round to be played on the final weekend in August.

    And with a bye round scheduled for the following week, Fox Sports reports the Cats are hoping to host Leon Cameron’s side on August 28.

    Geelong chief executive Brian Cook has asked league bosses to consider Simonds Stadium for the match between the sides, both bound for the top four.

    The Cats have two major motivators to do so.

    Geelong are notoriously poor after a bye.

    Their round 13 loss to West Coast was the seventh-straight season in which Chris Scott’s team have lost after a week off.

    The Cats cannot avoid a long break leading into the finals but they can minimise the length of their time off the park, and a Monday night fixture would do that.

    The second driver is the evidence thrown up by the 2016 finals series.

    Both of last year’s qualifying final winners – coincidentally the Cats and Giants – lost their home preliminary finals after playing just once in the previous 26 days.

    The prevailing wisdom from that experience is that any attempt should be made to shorten gaps between matches.

    The match would break with the AFL’s recent preference for Thursday night – and not Monday night – football when scheduling longer-than-usual weekends.

    With the exemption of fixtures played around public holidays – the Easter Monday, Queen’s Birthday and pre-Anzac Day matches – there have been no matches on a Monday this season.

    Since the adoption of the floating round, the AFL has tended to fixture the highest-ranked sides on Friday night.

    Geelong (currently placed second) and GWS (third) is the obvious candidate for that timeslot, but that would lengthen their break between matches.

    Only one other game – Richmond v St Kilda – pits sides currently in the top eight against each other.

    AFL ROUND 23 FIXTURE

    Adelaide (currently 1st) v West Coast (9th)

    Geelong (2nd) v GWS (3rd)

    Port Adelaide (4th) v Gold Coast (14th)

    Richmond (6th) v St Kilda (7th)

    Sydney (8th) v Carlton (16th)

    Essendon (10th) v Fremantle (12th)

    Hawthorn (13th) v Western Bulldogs (11th)

    Collingwood (15th) v Melbourne (5th)

    Brisbane (18th) v North Melbourne (17th)

    © AAP 2017

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