Port players want more 'equal' AFL fixture

Oliver Caffrey
Port Adelaide's Travis Boak has questioned how Melbourne's AFL teams play so many games in Victoria

Star Port Adelaide midfielder Travis Boak is pleading for the AFL to even up a "taxing" fixture and give non-Victorian teams more time at home.

A day after his teammate Tom Rockliff accused the AFL of being biased towards Victorian clubs, Boak has questioned how Melbourne-based teams are allowed so many games in their own state.

Boak - who captained the Power between 2013 and 2018 - said reigning premier Richmond playing seven straight games at the MCG leading into finals was a clear "outlier".

The Tigers took on fellow Victorian clubs Collingwood, Melbourne and Carlton, but also hosted Port Adelaide, West Coast, Brisbane and GWS to finish off the 2019 home-and-away season.

"The biggest thing that's obviously been talked about is the games that Victorian clubs have at home and the big run they have," Boak told SEN.

"The amount of travel that interstate clubs do have becomes pretty taxing and I just think that needs to be looked at.

"If we were able to get a little bit more time at home, it would be a little bit nicer - and to have clubs in Melbourne spending seven weeks in a row at the MCG is probably a little bit out.

"Towards the end of the year, if you're travelling 11 to 12 weeks of the year it does eventually take its toll."

Rockliff - who previously captained Brisbane and has spent his entire 191-game career outside of Victoria - believes Melbourne-based clubs are always going to have an edge.

"The biggest market for AFL is in Melbourne and we can't lose sight of that," he told ABC Radio.

"There's no doubt there's an advantage to playing in Melbourne if you just have to drive down the road to play a game 18 times a year.

"Until you start to talk about complete equalisation where everyone starts to travel eight times a year ... it doesn't really matter."

Rockliff also accused the AFL of bias following the league's ruling to prevent eight clubs resuming group training because Victoria's 10 teams are not allowed to under COVID-19 restrictions in the state.