MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 25: Sherrin footballs are placed to be collected by Kangaroos players during a North Melbourne Kangaroos training session at the Arden Street Ground on March 25, 2010 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Mark Dadswell/Getty Images)

Players Association fuming with 2017 fixture

The AFL Players Association is not happy with the outline for the 2017 fixture, as announced by the league today.

The AFL announced today that next season’s fixture will include the following:

• 22 rounds to be played across 23 weekends
• Bye weekend on eve of finals set to continue
• Standard round to stay the same, ending in Sunday twilight game
• Mid-season bye structure set to remain
• Thursday game on March 23 could kick-off round one

The AFL Players’ Association released the following statement a short time ago, with the main sticking point the demand for a second bye week for each team during the season.

“The AFL Players’ Association welcomes the opportunity to work with the AFL, clubs and stakeholders to develop the 2017 fixture.

“While we appreciate that the details are not yet finalised, we are concerned that the proposed scheduling framework does not at this point contemplate the return of a second in-season bye.

“The player overwhelming support the return of a second in-season bye, and believe this is a critical player welfare issue given the demands of the modern game.

“As the AFL has itself noted the importance of player welfare in devising the fixture, we remain hopeful that this important issue can be addressed for the 2017 season.”