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Cats demand home finals at Kardinia Park

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Geelong have demanded the right to host its finals at Simonds Stadium from next year, after the AFL controversially granted a home final to GWS on the Giants’ home deck at Spotless Stadium.

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The Cats’ chief executive Brian Cook today described the league’s decision to hold Greater Western Sydney’s September 24 preliminary final – against either Hawthorn or the Western Bulldogs – at the 24,000-capacity Spotless Stadium as a game-changer.

Once the ongoing redevelopment of Simonds Stadium is completed, the venue’s capacity will increase to 36,000.

The Cats will host the other preliminary final against either the Crows or the Swans at the MCG.

Cook said Geelong’s push to host more playoff matches at their home ground – as they did against Fremantle back in 2013 – had been strengthened.

“We think if it’s good enough for GWS down at Spotless, it’s good enough for us down at Simonds,” he told SEN Radio.

The 2013 semi-final against the Dockers was only scheduled at Simonds Stadium because the MCG was unavailable and it was against a non-Victorian team.

Cook said the redeveloped Simonds Stadium would be suitable for finals against any opposition except for big-drawing Melbourne clubs such as Hawthorn and Collingwood.

“I think we would still probably need to play them in Melbourne,” he said.

“But that’s not an easy question to answer because there are a lot of our members who would say `play it in Geelong’s because it gives us the best chance of making a grand final’.

“We don’t think there’s any excuse for us not to host a final if we deserve one and earn it.”

Former Western Bulldogs captain Brad Johnson pointed out what he believed were inconsistencies in the AFL’s decision, referring to his club having to host Adelaide at the MCG in the first week of last year’s finals.

“Dogs didn’t get Etihad against Adelaide last year for crowd, we had to go to MCG because it’s the best venue in the state,” he told RSN927.

-AAP

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