MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - MAY 20: Scott Pendlebury of the Magpies in action ahead of Luke Breust of the Hawks during the 2017 AFL round 09 match between the Collingwood Magpies and the Hawthorn Hawks at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on May 20, 2017 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Adam Trafford/AFL Media/Getty Images)

The AFL is understood to be keen on having all Victorian sides face a fellow state rival to open the 2022 season.

Following a year that once again saw Victorian fans restricted and unable to attend a large number of games last season due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the league is hopeful of having all Victorian-based fans able to attend their respective side's first game of the new season.

According to The Age's Peter Ryan, all 10 Victorian clubs could face off with a local rival in Round 1 next year to feed the appetite of starved fans in the AFL-centric state.

Reports have already emerged suggesting the league could open the 2022 season on a Wednesday night, with a grand final rematch between the Demons and Bulldogs kicking off the new campaign.

PERTH, AUSTRALIA - SEPTEMBER 25: Marcus Bontempelli of the Bulldogs handpasses the ball during the 2021 Toyota AFL Grand Final match between the Melbourne Demons and the Western Bulldogs at Optus Stadium on September 25, 2021 in Perth, Australia. (Photo by Will Russell/AFL Photos via Getty Images)

That fixture would allow the league greater flexibility in its plot to have all Victorian sides play in their home state, with all five Victorian rivalries being spanned across five days.

The tradition Richmond-Carlton season opener would likely hold its Thursday night times slot, with the aforementioned grand final rematch preceding the clash the night prior.

The league could then look to spread the remaining three matches across Friday, Saturday and Sunday, with the MCG, Marvel Stadium and Geelong's GMHBA Stadium all on offer.

To further entice fans, the AFL could look to pit Hawthorn and Collingwood against each other to open the new reigns under rookie coaches Sam Mitchell and Craig McRae, who both worked alongside one another under Alastair Clarkson this year.

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - DECEMBER 03: New Hawks assistant coach Sam Mitchell looks on during a Hawthorn Hawks AFL training session at Xavier College on December 03, 2018 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Michael Dodge/Getty Images)

That would leave Geelong, North Melbourne, St Kilda and Essendon left in the league's planning.

The Cats and Bombers could clash should the AFL look to place the two 2021 finals sides against each other, leaving North Melbourne and St Kilda to likely face off at Marvel Stadium.

The AFL is set to announce the 2022 fixture next week, while the AFLW fixture was released on Thursday.

Follow Zero Hanger on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for more of the latest AFL news.