MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 02: A general view is seen during the round one AFL match between the Carlton Blues and the Richmond Tigers at Melbourne Cricket Ground on April 2, 2015 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Michael Dodge/Getty Images)

How each club reacted to the 2017 fixture

See what your club thought of the 2017 AFL fixture, after the its release on Thursday morning.

Adelaide CEO Andrew Fagan:

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“We are absolutely rapt and feel this fixture reflects the success we have enjoyed both on and off the field in recent times,” Fagan said.

“The League has a history of rewarding clubs that play an attacking and entertaining style of football, as well as those that have a large and passionate supporter base and consistently delivering excellent television ratings.

“As such we feel the Club and our fans are deserving of premium timeslots which showcase the Crows on the national stage. Five Friday night matches including four at Adelaide Oval, plus a Thursday night at home, is a great result on every level. Our number of six-day breaks is slightly higher than we would like but consistent with last year.

“The coaches and players will embrace the challenge and we take comfort in knowing we have an outstanding high performance team who will ensure the boys are well prepared.”

Brisbane CEO Greg Swann:

“The fixture gives us really good consistency in the timing of our home games on Saturday evenings, which is great for fans and our corporate partners ,” Swann said.

“We want to become relevant again as a club and owning a regular timeslot at the Gabba is a big part of that. There are also six games in Melbourne – including two in the opening five rounds – which rewards our loyal Victorian fans.

From a footy perspective, we have a good spread of games and only single trips to Perth, Adelaide, Sydney and Tasmania, so there is plenty of opportunity for our team to excel.”

Carlton CEO Steven Trigg:

“We are mostly satisfied with our fixture for 2017, and believe it is fair and reasonable,” Trigg said.

“From our members’ point of view, we believe they will be happy with an increase in both Saturday afternoon and Saturday night games.

“However, our draw does again present some commercial challenges for the football club, including a lack of Friday night timeslots and no scheduled home game against Collingwood for the first time.”

Collingwood CEO Gary Pert:

“There is no better way to kick off the season than against the Bulldogs, the current premiers. We’ll be playing them on a Friday night at the MCG as a start to the season,” Pert said.

“Each year when we work with the AFL on the fixtures we have a theme. This year’s theme is all about families. We’ve listened to the feedback from our supporters. While the Friday and Saturday night games are great for television ratings, it often makes it really hard for families to come along, share the experience and still get home at a reasonable time. Sixteen games are either during the day or twilight so that should give everyone a chance to come along and share the experience.

“In summary I think this is a fixture that works for everyone. It’s well balanced for Bucks and the players. It’s a very realistic opportunity to reach our ambition which is to get back into the finals.”

Essendon CEO Xavier Campbell:

“We believe the draw presents great opportunities from a team performance perspective, and equally as important, we believe the draw is a positive outcome for our loyal members and supporters right across the country with respect to accessibility and timeslots,” Campbell said.

“We can’t wait to open our season against Hawthorn at the MCG. It will be a wonderful opportunity for our passionate supporters to come together and watch a gripping contest between two extremely proud Melbourne Clubs.

“An increase in traditional timeslots and blockbuster home games against our biggest rivals is not only exciting for the Essendon family, it also presents great commercial opportunities for the Club.

“Of course we would like to be playing more Friday night football, but we welcome the increase in games scheduled on Saturday afternoons and evenings.

“We hope over the course of the 2017 season we can prove to the competition why we deserve to play more Friday night football in the coming seasons.”

Fremantle CEO Steve Rosich:

“This is a really positive fixture for our members and players alike. Hats off to the AFL for listening to our concerns about six-day breaks and long-haul travel,” Rosich said.

Geelong CEO Brian Cook:

“As we have constantly said, we want more home games at Simonds Stadium,” Cook said.

“This is our home ground, and we will continue to push the AFL to schedule more games here, particularly now that there is more flexibility around scheduling games at Etihad Stadium after the AFL has purchased the venue.

“With the redevelopment of the Brownlow Stand due for completion in mid-May, we understand why the AFL has scheduled only seven games here in 2017.

“While we are disappointed by this outcome, we are pleased by the number of ‘big ticket’ games that have been scheduled at the ground.

“We will face the Bulldogs on the night of the Brownlow Stand opening, and our round 10 game against Port Adelaide will see us host a match during indigenous Round.

“Richmond will play at Simonds Stadium for the first time since 2012, and with the increased capacity of the ground to 36,000 we expect a large contingent of Richmond supporters to attend that match.”

Gold Coast CEO Andrew Travis:

“We are incredibly pleased with our 2017 fixture,” Travis said.

“When you take a close look at the games and the timing of those matches we are set to host here on the Gold Coast, it really is a great fixture for our fans and the city.

“To have the core group of traditional Melbourne clubs playing on the coast is not only great for us, but will be extremely beneficial for the broader Gold Coast.

“A great example of that is we know Collingwood fans love travelling to the coast and playing them in the middle of the July school holidays will have Magpie families across the country booking their winter vacations to the Gold Coast immediately. That’s a massive win for the city’s tourism operators, restaurants and hotels.

“Hosting this selection of teams is unique especially when you consider it will only be just the second time both Richmond and Hawthorn have played a game on the coast since our establishment.”

GWS CEO David Matthews:

“This is an exciting fixture and sees the Giants given greater exposure with more prime time and free to air games than ever before,” Matthews said.

“On the back of making the finals for the first time and proving to be one of the highest rating teams at the back end of this season, we’re delighted to be playing three games in the marquee slot of Friday night.

“To bring Friday night football to the ACT early in the 2017 premiership season will be a significant occasion for our club and the Canberra community.

“We’re pleased to have big Victorian clubs like Collingwood, Richmond, Essendon and Geelong coming to Western Sydney as well as the Sydney Derby in Round 17.

“The Sydney Derby against the Swans is now one of the hallmarks of the AFL calendar and indeed the sporting calendar in Sydney as demonstrated by the sellout at Spotless Stadium earlier this year and the crowd of over 60,000 at our first final last month.”

Hawthorn CEO Stuart Fox:

“Overall we are happy with the 2017 fixture and believe it is a strong draw for our fans and members,” Fox said.

“We have drawn some terrific home games at the MCG, with big match-ups against Geelong, Collingwood and Sydney that are certain to attract big crowds.

“Additionally, we are scheduled to play fellow 2016 finalists, Adelaide Crows and West Coast Eagles on our home turf at the MCG.

“Add five away games at the MCG against Essendon, Melbourne, Collingwood, Geelong and Richmond and we have eleven blockbuster matches for our Victorian members and fans.”

Melbourne CEO Peter Jackson:

“Overall it’s a positive fixture for our members and supporters,” Jackson said.

“We wanted an early home game against a Victorian club and we are pleased that our home opener is against the Blues. It’s been five years since we’ve hosted Carlton at the MCG and I know that our members will come out and support our first home game of the season against a traditional rival.

“We hoped for a long time that we would play all of our Victorian home games at the MCG we know that our supporters will be pleased with that outcome. The MCG is our home and a really significant part of our club and we are pleased that our Victorian home games will be played at the ‘G, which will include our Friday night game against the Swans.

“The club again looks forward to partnering with Richmond for the ANZAC Eve game in round five. The game is now into its third year and is growing into an important event on the AFL calendar, with both clubs’ supporter-bases embracing the significance of the occasion.”

North Melbourne General Manager of Football Cameron Joyce:

“We believe the fixture provides some real opportunities for us next year,” Joyce said.

“The reduction in the number of six day breaks from last year is a plus as well as 11 games at Etihad.

“There are no easy games in the AFL but we are pleased with the draw and from our point of view, the AFL has produced a balanced fixture for us.”

Port Adelaide CEO Keith Thomas:

“We are delighted to be playing the majority of our eleven home games at night. It is easier for our people to attend games in the late afternoon or evening so we believe these timeslots will again resonate positively with our community,” Thomas said.

“As well as taking AFL to Shanghai, Port Adelaide will also play in every mainland state across Australia.”

Richmond CEO Brendon Gale:

“It is an exciting start to the season against traditional rivals Carlton and Collingwood and our members and supporters will look forward to those games,” Gale said.

“The Dreamtime at the ‘G game continues to grow as one of the marquee games of the season and we are pleased to continue to build our ANZAC DAY Eve fixture with the Melbourne Football Club.

“Naturally we are disappointed not to get one Friday night game next season. We are a big Club with the third biggest membership in the league, and our games always rate well in that timeslot. Equally, we understand the need to reward some of the better performed sides from last season.”

St Kilda CEO Matt Finnis:

“We welcome the 2017 fixture and we’re particularly pleased to have secured four Friday night matches, which is a reflection of the exciting brand of football our team played in 2016,” Finnis said.

“Seven prime time games across Friday and Saturday nights is a fantastic outcome for both fans and our commercial partners.

“This fixture gives our members and supporters great flexibility, with 16 games in Melbourne and six interstate matches across a variety of timeslots.

“After the success of the inaugural Pride Game, we look forward to supporting hosts Sydney in 2017 to help further spread the message that all are welcome at the footy.”

Sydney CEO Andrew Ireland:

“With so many big matches at home and away, including eight Victorian matches, the 2017 fixture is a real win for Swans members, supporters and corporate partners,” Ireland said.

“While these big games are a great result for spectators, from a football perspective the draw always provides plenty of challenges and next season will certainly be no different.

“The Club is proud to again host a celebration of indigenous culture when we play Hawthorn for Marn Grook at the SCG as part of Sir Doug Nicholls Round.

“The Pride Match at home will be a special occasion for our fans and continues to build on the foundations set this year with the inaugural clash with the Saints.”

West Coast: TBA

Western Bulldogs CEO Gary Kent:

“There are many positives in the 2017 fixture particularly for our fans, members and sponsors with the additional Friday night games and the opportunities for greater exposure to a broader audience during the home and away season for our football team,” Kent said.

“We acknowledge the complexities and compromises the AFL deals with in developing a fixture.

“In 2017 we will play in Ballarat, we return to Cairns for the fourth consecutive year, feature on Good Friday and will play in more Friday night games in a season (7), than we have previously.

“We believe it provides our members and fans with some attractive games to attend, and also some great exposure for our sponsors in those prime time slots.”

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3 COMMENTS

  1. These home and away games for clubs whose home ground is the MCG is a bit of a joke. Teams like Collingwood play 16 games at the G, regardless of whether they are named as the home team or away team, they still play at their home ground. Gives the bigger Victorian clubs the advantage over the other teams in competition by exposing them to the G and its playing conditions. But there again I suppose it is all about ratings, TV’s rights and dollars

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