Cats want Monday night stage to close AFL season

By Ben McKay, Ben McKay is a Roar Guru

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21 Have your say

    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.


    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 2018
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    The Crowd Says (21)

    • Roar Guru

      July 12th 2017 @ 9:35am
      mds1970 said | July 12th 2017 @ 9:35am | ! Report

      Monday night is a bugger of a timeslot to get to. Would be tough for Geelong locals, with many Cats fans travelling significant distances on weeknights. And near impossible for anyone from interstate who has a job. It’s not a timeslot for attracting crowds; that’s been proven before.

      But Geelong’s motivation, of wanting to reduce the gap between games, is interesting. This is at least one club signalling that they don’t want the bye week before the finals.
      I’m not sure that we need a bye week before the finals. But with rising injury tolls, I’m increasingly feeling that having two byes during the season is becoming essential. The AFL Players Association have long called for it, and they have a valid point. I’d favour having two byes during the season – maybe get rid of the pre-finals bye. And if that means extending the season into October, so be it.

      • Roar Guru

        July 12th 2017 @ 9:40am
        XI said | July 12th 2017 @ 9:40am | ! Report

        Agree with all of that mds. Is there a stat about the injury rate since the League limited interchanges? It seems higher but that might be due to the teams I usually follow having bad years with injuries.

      • Roar Guru

        July 12th 2017 @ 9:54am
        Cat said | July 12th 2017 @ 9:54am | ! Report

        If we do that just get rid of the rolling bye and have an off week. We used to have two rolling byes and it gave big advantages or disadvantages depending when your side had the byes (who really benefits from a bye in round 4? One team has their second bye in round 17 another in round 22, one of those teams is going to be much fresher heading into finals).

        • Roar Guru

          July 12th 2017 @ 10:52am
          mds1970 said | July 12th 2017 @ 10:52am | ! Report

          What the AFL should do with byes, and it’s not rocket science; is that a team coming off a bye should play another team coming off a bye.
          It doesn’t matter whether the byes are spread over 1,2 or 3 weeks; as long as teams coming off a bye play each other.

          • Roar Guru

            July 12th 2017 @ 11:01am
            Cat said | July 12th 2017 @ 11:01am | ! Report

            It still matters when a team has their byes. Teams with the early first bye’s get almost no benefit from it (players haven’t played many games so not likely to be dinged up yet). Teams with late byes get to freshen up closer to finals and will have the most number of players potentially needing the time off to freshen up some dings.

    • Roar Guru

      July 12th 2017 @ 9:41am
      XI said | July 12th 2017 @ 9:41am | ! Report

      I really want the League to scrap the pre-finals bye. I’d be more interested in all teams playing on one day rather than having a week gap. Plus having byes during the season makes more sense.

      • Roar Guru

        July 12th 2017 @ 9:55am
        Cat said | July 12th 2017 @ 9:55am | ! Report

        Nine games on one day is just not doable logistically.

      • Roar Guru

        July 12th 2017 @ 10:54am
        mds1970 said | July 12th 2017 @ 10:54am | ! Report

        When there’s 2-3 games every week at the MCG and Etihad, I can’t see how playing all nine games on one day would be logistically possible.

        • Roar Guru

          July 12th 2017 @ 11:01am
          Wayne said | July 12th 2017 @ 11:01am | ! Report

          Adelaide, Subi, GABBA, SCG, Docklands, MCG, Geelong, Tassie (Hawks), Manuka.

          Would be dumb. Channel 7/Fox lose too much content

        • Roar Guru

          July 12th 2017 @ 11:06am
          Cat said | July 12th 2017 @ 11:06am | ! Report

          The grounds might be able to be sorted. Melbourne would need to probably host two games at the MCG and two at Etihad (one early, one late) but the Melbourne mass transit system would absolutely implode. There aren’t enough officiating crews. There aren’t enough TV/radio crews to cover all the games.

          • Roar Guru

            July 12th 2017 @ 11:58am
            XI said | July 12th 2017 @ 11:58am | ! Report

            I don’t actually want them to do all games on one day. It was more an illustration of how much I dislike the pre-finals bye that even something like all games on one day would be preferable.

      • July 12th 2017 @ 3:13pm
        Gyfox said | July 12th 2017 @ 3:13pm | ! Report

        Agree 100%. The round 23 bye was introduced thanks to North & Freo……….haven’t sighted them in the Finals since!

        2 byes during the season is what the players want & is a much better idea.

    • Roar Guru

      July 12th 2017 @ 9:50am
      Wayne said | July 12th 2017 @ 9:50am | ! Report

      Dont have the draw open on my phone. But could potentially go:
      Thursday 1 game
      Friday 1 game
      Saturday day 1 game
      Saturday twilight 1 game
      Saturday night 2 games
      Sunday 2 games
      Monday 1 game

      • Roar Pro

        July 12th 2017 @ 6:51pm
        anon said | July 12th 2017 @ 6:51pm | ! Report

        2 Friday night games – 1 MCG, 1 Etihad

        6 Saturday games – 1 MCG, 1 Etihad, 1 Adelaide, 1 Sydney, 1 Brisbane, 1 Perth

    • Roar Guru

      July 12th 2017 @ 12:33pm
      mds1970 said | July 12th 2017 @ 12:33pm | ! Report

      There’s an error in the article. The article states that Geelong are second and GWS Giants are third. It’s actually the other way round.

    • Roar Pro

      July 12th 2017 @ 6:45pm
      anon said | July 12th 2017 @ 6:45pm | ! Report

      All the top 4 teams should play on the same day in round 23. Potentially you have a top 4 team playing Friday night and another on Monday night.

      Geelong is angling for this because they think it gives them an advantage.

      • Roar Guru

        July 12th 2017 @ 7:17pm
        Cat said | July 12th 2017 @ 7:17pm | ! Report

        And why shouldn’t Geelong look out for itself?

        • Roar Pro

          July 12th 2017 @ 8:08pm
          anon said | July 12th 2017 @ 8:08pm | ! Report

          As long as the AFL is consistent and fulfils all teams self-serving requests.

          • Roar Guru

            July 12th 2017 @ 8:20pm
            Cat said | July 12th 2017 @ 8:20pm | ! Report

            Your sides gets looked after all the time

          • July 13th 2017 @ 10:14pm
            Shane said | July 13th 2017 @ 10:14pm | ! Report

            Huh? No. The AFL isn’t a democracy. The AFL serves the tv sponsors self serving requests. The Cats can offer something the sponsors will want on a Monday night, so expect their requests to be fulfilled.

    • July 13th 2017 @ 2:06am
      Boban Fett said | July 13th 2017 @ 2:06am | ! Report

      The bye week is ridiculous. It’s only there because in 2013 and 2015 the Dockers rested quite a few players in the last round of the regular season to ensure they would be fresh for the finals, and if you remember 2013 it resulted in Freo knocking off the Cats on their own turf in the first week of the finals and getting the all important home preliminary final.

      This all makes logical sense when you consider how much air travel Freo (and West Coast) have to do compared with clubs like Collingwood. Not to mention the fact that the clubs from Western Australia often have to play games in “neutral territory” because they don’t draw as many fans in Melbourne as other Melbourne clubs, or even the Swans and Lions.

      Clearly the AwFL has introduced the bye round to try and stop teams from resting players before the first week of the finals. And if you’ve been on a winning streak leading into the finals, a bye can kill your momentum.

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