With the trade period out of the way we're now closer to knowing the 2024 AFL fixture, and with the potential for Round 1 to be a Sydney-focused split round there's increased intrigue.

The AFL has proposed to clubs this week that the Round 1 fixture could be split over two weeks to open next year's home and away season, with matches to be held in Sydney to get the new campaign underway.

The proposed Round 1 fixture would involve both the Giants and the Swans hosting blockbusters, with potential games seeing GWS kicking off the 2024 season against Collingwood on a Saturday night before Sydney played Melbourne on a Sunday afternoon.

The following weekend would see the remaining clubs' season-openers played, likely featuring Carlton and Richmond's annual Thursday night clash at the MCG. The season opener between these clubs last year left the AFL world in disbelief after both teams were locked up with a draw at the final siren.

With this in mind, we've looked to piece together the other games in what is a predicted Round 1 fixture for 2024.

This year will look a little different if the AFL opted for a split round.

The first two games would have particular drama around them. With a preliminary final rematch between Collingwood and GWS taking place in New South Wales, while new Sydney ruckman Brodie Grundy would play against his former side Melbourne in the opening round.

The following weekend would likely be the traditional fixture between the Blues and Tigers on a Thursday night at the MCG, and if it is anything like last year it will be a thrilling game to start the remainder of the season-opening games. With newly appointed Richmond head coach Adem Yze coaching his side for the first time, it will be a big occasion for both sides involved.

Turning to Friday night, we've looked to combine both physicality and competitiveness with a matchup between Port Adelaide and the Western Bulldogs. Neither side would be happy with their 2023 campaigns and will be looking for redemption early into the year.

For the Saturday night fixture we've looked at Brisbane vs St Kilda at the Gabba, with the Lions wanting to go a step further this year while the Saints will look to make sure 2023 was no fluke.

Round 1 is likely to be without the use of Marvel Stadium, given the schedule of several Pink concerts at the venue in March.

Hawthorn vs North Melbourne will open Saturday's proceedings at 1:45pm at the MCG, with North hoping for a good start to the season with more stability within their coaching group as Clarkson takes on his former team.

Geelong vs Adelaide at GMHBA Stadium follows later that day. Both teams were left disappointed with not making finals in 2023 and will be keen to start 2024 with a win.

Moving to Sunday, we've looked at an early afternoon game between Essendon and Gold Coast at the MCG, with both clubs eager to start the season on the right page. Essendon will be hoping their active trade period will serve them well and Gold Coast will be looking to get their first win under new coach Damien Hardwick.

GOLD COAST, AUSTRALIA - AUGUST 21: Damien Hardwick speaks at a Gold Coast Suns AFL press conference announcing his signing as the new coach at Heritage Stadium on August 21, 2023 in Gold Coast, Australia. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)

Lastly, finishing off Round 1 would be the Western Derby between Fremantle and West Coast at Optus Stadium, with the two sides hoping to get their 2024 seasons off on the right foot after a disappointing 2023 season.

The split-round proposal comes as new AFL CEO Andrew Dillon plans to grow the game in NSW and QLD, putting the first weekend of Round 1 on show for blockbuster fixtures in NSW.

Predicted 2024 Round 1 split round fixture:

Saturday, March 9
7:50pm: GWS v Collingwood at GIANTS Stadium

Sunday, March 10
3:20pm: Sydney v Melbourne at the SCG

Thursday, March 14
7:30pm: Richmond v Carlton at the MCG

Friday, March 15
7:20pm: Port Adelaide vs Western Bulldogs at Adelaide Oval

Saturday, March 16
1:45pm: Hawthorn vs North Melbourne at the MCG
4:35pm: Geelong vs Adelaide at GMHBA Stadium
7:50pm: Brisbane vs St Kilda at the Gabba

Sunday, March 17
1:10pm: Essendon vs Gold Coast at the MCG
4:10pm: Fremantle vs West Coast at Optus Stadium

*All times AEDT