From Sunday Age
Reported by Daniel Cherny
Full Story
Click Here

The revival of curtain-raisers at Carlton home games seems likely to be confined to just two matches in 2015, with low-drawing dates against expansion teams pin-pointed as likely options.

The AFL last month flagged its intention to return double-headers to AFL venues in a bid to spruce up the matchday experience for supporters. Several Victorian clubs including the Blues, Essendon and Collingwood have put their hands up to participate. The respective clubs' VFL teams were identified to host the games prior to the matches.

The VFL released its first draft fixture to clubs last week, and while not a single game at either the MCG or Etihad Stadium was officially slated in the fixture, it is understood several games have been mooted for transfer to these venues ahead of the official release expected in mid-December.

In the Blues' case, the home games on May 16 against GWS and June 28 against Gold Coast have been targeted. The matches will likely be preceded by Carlton's VFL affiliate - the Northern Blues - taking on North Ballarat and Frankston respectively.

Carlton officials were due to meet with representatives of Etihad Stadium late last week to thrash out the finer points.

Meanwhile the Northern Blues and Coburg have agreed in principle to initiate a regular VFL game on the Queen's Birthday Monday public holiday.

The local rivals believed that there was an opportunity to try to maximise opportunities on what is a largely empty football day in Victoria, save for the Melbourne v Collingwood game at the MCG, and an Eastern Football League showcase match.

The 2015 game is tentatively marked down to be played at Coburg's Piranha Park, with a view to the hosting duties being alternated yearly. The Queen's Birthday leads into a bye the following weekend for both the VFL and AFL, which is likely to make the concept more amenable to Carlton.

Public holiday games are becoming increasingly regular in the VFL, with the Dolphins again earmarked to take on Richmond at Frankston Park on Anzac Day.

While the cricket World Cup has pushed back the AFL season to the start of April, the VFL season will be even more substantially affected, with round one set to begin on the weekend of April 18.

In other VFL news, the Roosters are hopeful that the Labor victory at the state election and promised redevelopment of Eureka Stadium will allow the side to play selected night games at home from 2017 or 2018.


So this means North Ballarat supporters will not be able to attend their match v Northern Blues on Saturday 16 May unless they pay AFL admittance charges to get into Docklands. Similarly for Frankston supporters on Sunday 28 June.
Or, will there be admittance for VFL members at normal VFL away game charges provided patrons turn up before a certain time? Will VFL supporters be herded into one area as at Geelong? Will VFL supporters be able to get into the ground in time to see the start of the VFL match? I certainly would not be staying for the AFL match.

N Blues should only play against AFL teams in the VFL, and not other clubs. They should feel free to play "curtain raisers" against Box Hill, Footscray, Geelong, Essendon, Collingwood and Richmond, but NONE of the others.

This an interesting one. Its hard to know what is best - AFL curtain raisers between AFL reserves teams only or should VFL clubs also be involved as it allows VFL players the opportunity to play at Docklands or MCG that they may not otherwise get.

For fans sake though 1 game a year is probably the most they would want as an AFL curtain raiser.

I think there will probably be 15 or so AFL curtain raisers in 2015