Freo jump at chance to host Blues at MCG

·3-min read

Fremantle have received an unexpected boost after their AFL clash with Carlton on Saturday night was moved to the MCG.

The Dockers have been craving more fixtures at the MCG in order to give their fledgling squad an opportunity to gain further experience at the venue known as the 'home of football'.

Fremantle were originally set to host Carlton at Optus Stadium, but the Dockers were forced to flee Western Australia earlier this week after Perth and the Peel region went into lockdown.

The game was then set to be held in Launceston before the Tasmanian Government rejected those plans.

Fremantle were resigned to having to play the game at GMHBA Stadium or Marvel Stadium, but they jumped at the chance to switch it to the MCG when the option became available on Wednesday.

It means the match will be part of a double header, with Melbourne and GWS facing off at the MCG at 1.45pm AEST, and the Dockers v Blues match to start at 7.40pm AEST.

A crowd capacity of 25,000 will be allowed for the match.

"The MCG came into the picture late yesterday and that's essentially going to be where it's landed for us, which is really pleasing on a number of aspects and the guys are excited about it," Fremantle chief executive Simon Garlick told SEN.

Since losing the 2013 grand final to Hawthorn, Fremantle have made just 12 appearances at the MCG for six wins and six losses.

Fremantle haven't played finals since 2015, but they are a chance to break that six-year drought this season after moving to a 7-7 record.

Meanwhile, South Australia's improving COVID-19 situation will allow for the Crows' clash with the Brisbane Lions on Saturday to take place at Adelaide Oval as planned.

Adelaide will arrive back from Melbourne on Friday in preparation for the game, while the Lions will fly in from the Victorian capital on Saturday and hope to return to Brisbane after the game.

Meanwhile, coach Luke Beveridge has revealed his players' "union stance" scuppered the AFL's attempt to schedule a bumper Western Bulldogs-Sydney clash on Friday night next week.

There are major fixture headaches for the AFL as it attempts to work within the different state governments' COVID-19 restrictions and border closures to keep the season rolling.

As of Thursday night, all 18 clubs are currently stationed in Victoria, with the Swans to remain there until at least after their meeting with the Bulldogs in round 17.

The league approached the Dogs to play the fixture on the Friday following this Sunday's meeting with North Melbourne.

It would have meant a second five-day break for the Bulldogs, who took on West Coast and the Kangaroos with a short break in between in rounds two and three.

It would also have meant a second five-day break for Sydney, who take on West Coast in Geelong this Sunday and played against Richmond and Essendon in a short time frame in rounds three and four.

Under the AFL Players' Association's collective bargaining agreement with the league, each club is only allowed one five-day break during the season.

"We took it to our players and they were prepared to do it," Beveridge said.

"It was going to be another five-day break and we've already had one.

"The PA had negotiated just the one five-day break during the course of the year.

"Our players, as much as they were willing to do it, ultimately took a union stance and said, 'No, for the future it's one in, all in here'."

The Bulldogs-Swans match, scheduled to be played at Marvel Stadium, is now likely to be held on the Saturday or Sunday in round 17.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting