The league has yet to schedule the floating round to be played on the final weekend in August.
Adelaide infamously rejected the AFL’s demand last year that the Crows face off against West Coast in the Monday night timeslot, in a finals-defining clash ahead of a week off for both sides.
Crows CEO Andrew Fagan instead successfully pushed for a marquee Friday night fixture – at which the home side was soundly defeated playing their third match in 13 days, coming off successive six day breaks.
wanted fixture 2 allow members best chance to attend. No excuses. Weren't good enough on night v good team. Will bounce back
— Andrew Fagan (@Fages1) August 27, 2016
“It was important we fought hard and it was great to avoid Monday in Round 23,” Fagan told FIVEaa ahead of the match, which he said would benefit “the fans [whom] the AFL know will turn out in great numbers”.
“We were, in the [AFL’s] minds, the obvious game for that slot, but our opposition was significant and it was voiced in no uncertain terms.”
The Round 23 loss to the Eagles cost the Crows a top-four berth, and they were bundled out of the major round in an away semi-final loss to Sydney.
This year though, with a bye round again scheduled for the following week, Fox Sports reports the Cats are hoping to host Leon Cameron’s side on August 28.
Geelong chief executive Brian Cook has asked league bosses to consider Simonds Stadium for the match between the sides, both bound for the top four.
The Cats have two major motivators to do so.
Geelong are notoriously poor after a bye.
Their round 13 loss to West Coast was the seventh-straight season in which Chris Scott’s team have lost after a week off.
The Cats cannot avoid a long break leading into the finals but they can minimise the length of their time off the park, and a Monday night fixture would do that.
The second driver is the evidence thrown up by the 2016 finals series.
Both of last year’s qualifying final winners – coincidentally the Cats and Giants – lost their home preliminary finals after playing just once in the previous 26 days.
The prevailing wisdom from that experience is that any attempt should be made to shorten gaps between matches.
The match would break with the AFL’s recent preference for Thursday night – and not Monday night – football when scheduling longer-than-usual weekends.
With the exemption of fixtures played around public holidays – the Easter Monday, Queen’s Birthday and pre-Anzac Day matches – there have been no matches on a Monday this season.
Since the adoption of the floating round, the AFL has tended to fixture the highest-ranked sides on Friday night.
Geelong (currently placed second) and GWS (third) is the obvious candidate for that timeslot, but that would lengthen their break between matches.
Only one other game – Richmond v St Kilda – pits sides currently in the top eight against each other.
The Crows again finish the minor round with a game against West Coast – this time in Perth – while Port Adelaide’s season concludes with a home hit-out against the Gold Coast Suns.
AFL ROUND 23 FIXTURE
Adelaide (currently 1st) v West Coast (9th)
Geelong (2nd) v GWS (3rd)
Port Adelaide (4th) v Gold Coast (14th)
Richmond (6th) v St Kilda (7th)
Sydney (8th) v Carlton (16th)
Essendon (10th) v Fremantle (12th)
Hawthorn (13th) v Western Bulldogs (11th)
Collingwood (15th) v Melbourne (5th)
Brisbane (18th) v North Melbourne (17th)
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