AFL backs Crows’ push for Good Friday match

Written By Unknown on Selasa, 17 Juni 2014 | 12.50

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ADELAIDE'S push to open the 2015 AFL premiership season is stronger with the AFL Commission's ground-breaking backing for Good Friday football.

The Crows will have a double-edged presentation on the 2015 fixture asking for the right to open the premiership season with either the league's first Good Friday game or a Maundy Thursday night match.

If the Crows miss out on Good Friday - with the AFL recognising North Melbourne and the Western Bulldogs have been petitioning for this fixture for far longer than Adelaide - the Thursday night game leading into the Easter long weekend will satisfy.

The 2015 AFL premiership season will be delayed until April to avoid a clash with the cricket World Cup one-day championships in Australia and New Zealand.

This event could work in Adelaide's favour to open the AFL season for the third time in the Crows' 25-year story.

Adelaide Oval will be free of the cricket World Cup from March 15 - 20 days before Maundy Thursday on April 2 next year.

This is ample time for the ground staff at the Oval to dig out the drop-in pitches and convert the ground for Australian football.

Adelaide Crows CEO Steven Trigg, left, with Adelaide Oval's Andrew Daniels and Port Adelaide CEO Keith Thomas. Picture: Dave Cronin. Source: News Corp Australia

The MCG will not be free of cricket until Sunday, March 29 when the ground will host the Cup final. This leaves just four days to convert the MCG for a Good Friday history clash between the Kangaroos and Bulldogs.

Adelaide chief executive Steven Trigg on Monday night noted the growing national appeal of the Oval may work in the Crows favour for Good Friday football.

"The AFL fixture is complicated next year by a lack of grounds being available with the cricket World Cup," Trigg told The Advertiser.

"But Adelaide Oval certainly will be available for Good Friday.

"And if the AFL recognises that a couple of clubs (North Melbourne and the Western Bulldogs) have had their hands up for Good Friday football for a couple of years now, we will step forward for Thursday night football before Easter.

"That fits in with our wish to have Thursday night football at the Oval in the lead-up to a public holiday and long weekend. We will make that request."

Adelaide signalled its interest in Good Friday football in The Advertiser on April 7 when club chairman Rob Chapman noted the public push for the new timeslot. The Crows were not hit with a member backlash.

"Done responsibly - with the game played late in the day after families have honoured their religious and family commitments - Good Friday football can work," Trigg said.

The AFL Commission came up with the same conclusion on Monday.

In its first major decision since the departure of chief executive Andrew Demetriou - who opposed Good Friday football - the commission ruled a new Easter timeslot carries public approval.

"There has been a growing appetite to hold a game on this day and on balance we believe the time is right," AFL Commission chairman Mike Fitzpatrick said.

"AFL matches are scheduled on every other public holiday during the season and we know that many families want to be able to attend and or watch football together on that day."

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