Pre-finals bye here to stay

The AFL has confirmed that the pre-finals bye will remain in 2017.

“AFL has determined it will retain the week’s break introduced this year between the end of the Home & Away Season and start to the Finals,” the league said in a statement.

“The 2017 bye week will be between the final round (August 25-27) and the start to finals (September 7-10). A Thursday week one final will again be considered.

“The 2016 finals were the most-watched finals in AFL history with a total audience of 18.37 million viewers for the nine games across the month.

“The AFL’s view was that the bye strongly contributed to brilliant September football with the best players being able to be as fit/ were as well-prepared as possible.”