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AFL misses out on its curtain raiser wish

Article image for AFL misses out on its curtain raiser wish

AFL fans have once again missed out on their wish for more curtain-raisers to be played ahead of senior AFL matches in 2017.

The league itself is also expected to be disappointed with the lack of curtain-raisers next year.

Today’s release the of VFL fixture shows just three matches where the teams playing link up with their senior side later that day or night, however even these are barely considered to be a curtain-raiser.

On May 6, 2017, the Footscray Bulldogs play Richmond at Etihad Stadium, with the match beginning at 3:00pm. Later that night, starting at 7:20pm, is the Bulldogs and Tigers round seven clash in the AFL.

It means the VFL will be finished at 5:40pm and supporters will have over an hour and half to fill in between matches.

The AFL confirmed on Sports Today in March this year that it intends on making curtain-raisers more fan friendly.

‘What doesn’t make sense is if that game (curtain-raiser) finishes well before most of the crowd get there,’ AFL General manager of Football Operations Mark Evans told Gerard Healy and Dwayne Russell at the time.

Evans explained that the pre-game warm up with players do on the ground is a factor in why curtain-raisers can’t finish closer to the beginning of the main game, however he would like to see it changed.

‘At the moment the requirements for the clubs to warm up properly for the game sort of precludes that.

‘If they thought there was a different way of doing that, then I say what we would do it explore pushing a few of those curtain-raiser type matches to run up pretty close to the main game and see if that’s attractive to the fans.’

Also in March, West Coast Eagles coach Adam Simpson told Sports Today that he would like to see the return of curtain-raisers and that the players would be able to adapt to a different warm up.

Click PLAY to hear the discussion on Sports Today