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The AFL fixture: What your club says

BRISBANE LIONS
Chief executive Greg Swann:

“We’re delighted to have some marquee Thursday and Friday night games at The Gabba.

“The last time we hosted a Friday night regular season game was 2013 against Collingwood. Our captain Dayne Zorko and Ryan Lester are the only two remaining players from that game.

“We’re also really pleased with the 10 free-to-air games on Channel Seven we’ve been given as well as the 11 games with our long-term partner Fox.”

CARLTON
Chief executive Cain Liddle:

“Round two will also be a historic day, for the first time ever on a match day our club will truly come together as one to see both our AFL and AFLW sides in action at Marvel Stadium (against Western Bulldogs).

“We have also retained five Sunday afternoon home games, which our members and supporters attended really strongly in 2019, while our spread of Saturday timeslots next year gives all our Victorian-based fans an opportunity to be part of what has become an incredible atmosphere at Carlton games.”

COLLINGWOOD
Chief executive Mark Anderson:

“I think the schedule will allow even more people to watch Collingwood next year, be that from a seat at the ground, on the couch or in front of a tablet.

“I also think that our schedule next year helps us to trial and, hopefully, create new big occasion rituals. We’re really pleased to be helping to establish a new tradition with a match against Brisbane at the Gabba on Easter Thursday.

“It was a success this year, from a live crowd and broadcast perspective, and with the match locked in for the next couple of seasons we think it can become a contest everyone looks forward to.”

ESSENDON
Chief executive Xavier Campbell:

“Our Melbourne-based members and supporters will be pleased we have drawn strong home games at the MCG this season, facing Melbourne, Richmond, North Melbourne and Collingwood.

“We are disappointed we won’t be involved in the Good Friday game next year after a joint record-fundraising effort with the Kangaroos.

“We have the opportunity to visit our interstate members and supporters six times throughout the season, with trips to Sydney and Adelaide twice, as well as Perth and Brisbane respectively.”

FREMANTLE
President Dale Alcock:

“We are pleased to have four home night games at Optus Stadium, allowing the club to showcase one of the best sporting facilities in the world to our passionate fan base.

“We look forward to our home clashes at Optus Stadium against big drawing Victorian clubs Collingwood, Richmond, Hawthorn and Carlton.

“From a football perspective, we are pleased to have five six-day breaks, which allows us to limit the rigours of the significant travel required across the home-and-away season.”

GEELONG
Acting CEO Simon Kelleher:

“Nine home games at GMHBA Stadium is an acceptable result for the club, the spread of games include two Friday night matches, five afternoon and twilight matches and one Saturday night game.

“Both MCG home games have been fixtured in afternoon, family-friendly timeslots. Easter Monday is a highlight of the season each and every year.”

GOLD COAST
Acting Chief Executive Simon Fitzgibbon:

“The 2020 AFL fixture is a great result for our members and fans on the Gold Coast. We know that a mix of matches at Metricon Stadium across the afternoon and twilight timeslots really suits our family market.

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“The premiership game in Darwin is a small but significant part of our relationship with both the NT Government and AFL Northern Territory, and we’re looking forward to putting on an exciting spectacle against St Kilda.”

GWS
Chief executive David Matthews:

“Hosting clubs like Geelong, Richmond, Collingwood and Essendon at Giants Stadium is a big win for our supporters, as is a blockbuster Friday night against the Bulldogs in Canberra.

“We’re pleased to be able to secure five twilight Saturday games at Giants Stadium, which is the preferred slot for our members and supporters.

“Pleasingly, we also get the chance to take on fellow finalists Brisbane in the nation’s capital – the first time the Lions have played in the ACT.”

HAWTHORN
Chief executive Justin Reeves:

“The shift back to more family-friendly timeslots gives our members plenty to look forward to in season 2020.

“We have drawn six home games at the MCG, with big match-ups against Brisbane, Collingwood, Sydney, Melbourne, Geelong and the Giants.

“After too many Sunday clashes in 2019, this fixture offers our members greater opportunity to attend the football, which is a fantastic result for the club and fans.

“Unfortunately we did not receive our request to forgo a home game at Marvel Stadium in 2020.”

MELBOURNE
Chief executive Gary Pert:

“Melbourne supporters have made it clear they would like to see the Darwin home match return to the MCG as soon as possible, so I’m sure they will be delighted that we’re playing 10 home games there in 2020.

“Continuing the tradition of the Anzac Day eve match against Richmond is a privilege, to not only honour the significance of the occasion but also to play in front of a big MCG crowd.”

NORTH MELBOURNE
Captain Jack Ziebell:

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“Good Friday is an amazing occasion to be a part of, and being involved for the fourth year in a row is a really exciting prospect.

“It’s about something much larger than footy, as we do what we can to support families and children going through some really difficult times.

“Spending the week working with the Royal Children’s Hospital is really rewarding, and is something we look forward to.”

PORT ADELAIDE
Chief executive Keith Thomas:

“2020 is a significant year for us. Putting this fixture together was two years in the making. We are really happy with how the AFL have worked with us to accommodate some of our important requests to celebrate our 150th.

“We are excited to host a Good Friday game for the first time. We will ensure we are respectful of the day and the occasion. Overall, we think it is a fixture that our people will really enjoy.”

RICHMOND
Analysis from richmondfc.com.au:

“Back-to-back Thursday night clashes against traditional rivals Carlton and Collingwood again launch the season, with the Tigers to unfurl the 2019 premiership flag ahead of the traditional season opener against the Blues.

“The Tigers will host a blockbuster Friday night home game against the Magpies in round 17, and will play North Melbourne in a home-and-away match at the MCG for the first time since 2012.

“The club will pay tribute to its supporters with ‘Member Thank You Round’ against Hawthorn in Round 22 on Sunday, August 16.

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“In total the Tigers have 14 home-and-away matches at the MCG in 2020, and will travel interstate six times – twice to Perth, and once each to Brisbane, Sydney, Gold Coast and Adelaide.”


ST KILDA

Acting CEO Simon Lethlean:

“To have no significant travel in the first eight rounds provides our Victorian-based supporters with the opportunity to come out in big numbers and get behind the team.

“Decreasing the number of times we travel from seven last season to six in 2020 is a positive step. With games in Perth, Adelaide, Brisbane, Sydney and Darwin, our interstate supporters can also show their support in person.

“To return to a Friday night fixture is important for our commercial partners, and we understand the importance of our on-field performance in securing more prime-time spots.”

SYDNEY
Chief executive Tom Harley:

“To kick off the AFL’s Sir Doug Nicholls Round with Marn Grook at the SCG is really important for our club, and we look forward to hosting Geelong in next year’s match.

“To have six games in Melbourne – three being at the MCG – is a terrific result for our club, as is returning to Western Australia, South Australia and Queensland.”


WESTERN BULLDOGS

Chief executive Ameet Bains:

“An opportunity for the club to return to prime time, and being able to play four times on Friday night, and host both Essendon and Collingwood, is really exciting.

“Saturday nights have been a great fixture for us, particularly at Marvel Stadium. To have five home games on a Saturday night at Marvel and eight overall is terrific.

“It’s great to return to Good Friday, after having the opportunity to play in the first game against North Melbourne.”

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WEST COAST
Chief executive Trevor Nisbett:

“Fixtures are always tough and we often don’t get what we request, but we make the case to the AFL of the extreme challenges of being based in Perth, travelling huge distances each season and having to return late at night or very early in the morning.

“Our sports science team, our strength and conditioning staff and our coaches are highly professional in their approach to travel, match day and recovery.

“We did make the request to avoid a Thursday game* for the benefit of our regional and metro-based members.”

* The Eagles play Essendon in a Thursday night game at Optus Stadium in round 11

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