Sydney Derby XIV set for Round Three in 2018
The AFL has today released the 2018 Toyota AFL Premiership Season Fixture.
AFL CEO, Gillon McLachlan said the season would be played across a 23-round format for all clubs to play 11 home and away games with one bye, while retaining the second bye that was introduced in 2016 after the final round across the weekend of August 31-September 2, to enable the top eight clubs to prepare for the 2018 Toyota AFL Finals Series.
Key Highlights for the New South Wales and ACT region include:
- The GWS GIANTS will play their first game on Sunday, 25 March 2018 against the Western Bulldogs at UNSW Canberra Oval at 1.10pm
- The Sydney Swans will also be playing their first game on Sunday, 25 March 2018 against the West Coast Eagles at Perth Stadium kicking off at 4.20pm
- The GIANTS will be playing eight home games at Spotless Stadium and three games at UNSW Canberra Oval
- The Swans will play 11 home games at the SCG
- Sydney Derby XIV will be held during Round Three at 7.25pm on Saturday, 7 April 2018 at the SCG
- Sir Doug Nicholls Indigenous Round will be celebrated in Round 11 with Sydney hosting the annual Marn Grook on 1 June 2018 against Carlton
- A mid-season break for all clubs to be spread across Rounds 12, 13, 14, except for the Gold Coast Suns and Port Adelaide, who will have their break in round 10 after playing in China
- The continuation of a second bye after Round 23, which was introduced for the 2016 season, to enable those clubs competing in the 2018 Toyota AFL Finals Series to have the best possible preparation
- Minimum six-day break for all clubs between each match, with the exception only for the four sides coming out of the Anzac Day Round in Richmond, Melbourne, Collingwood and Essendon
- The 2018 Toyota AFL Grand Final will be played on Saturday, 29 September 2018
The AFL, thanks to the outstanding work of our clubs and players, and with the passionate support of our members and fans, posted its highest-ever home and away attendance tally in 2017 with 6,732,601 fans attending the 198 matches.
Mr McLachlan said the fixture was constructed with the primary aim to maximise attendances at all matches to enable fans to access the game in strong numbers, ensure that all clubs received as balanced a fixture as possible via the weighted match-up rule and to continue to build the AFL game as the number one code in this country.
“Since the turn of the century, both the Brisbane Lions and Port Adelaide have won first-ever premierships as part of the national competition, while five other clubs in the Sydney Swans (72 years), Geelong Cats (44 years), Collingwood (20 years), Western Bulldogs (62 years) and Richmond (37 years) have ended longed periods without success, giving hope to all supporters that their club can rise to ultimate success.
“The AFL’s primary goal is that all clubs can compete equally for top-eight spots and then those clubs playing in September can have the best possible lead-in and preparation for the most important matches of our season,” he said.
To follow what has occurred in recent seasons, the AFL determined that both Thursday and stand-alone Friday matches would largely feature those sides who had performed strongly on the field in 2017 in these key marquee timeslots – Richmond to have eight games, and the Adelaide Crows and the Sydney Swans to have seven games apiece.
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