The Player’s Perspective

Well what an interesting past month we have endured!

From the abandonment of a fortnight’s worth of games to last week’s matches proceeding without crowds, it is fair to say we have been in unchartered territory.

But with that comes, in my opinion, an opportunity for the league to potentially be bold and innovative. To do something that has never been done before and that will most likely never be done again.

We currently have a fixture dilemma in play that is still being worked through which potentially creates a chance, for this season only, to do something out of the ordinary.

While I for one am not in favour of extending the season anymore than the games previously scheduled, could the league potentially look at changing its finals series to account for lost games?

Could a top eight finals series work for the current predicament we find ourselves in? Or maybe even a top six? Could the unlucky clubs who miss out on making the finals be given the opportunity to host finals (assuming crowds are permitted) in a bid to recoup some of the lost income clubs have already missed out on?

Imagine the interest and buzz this would create. If we went to a top six or eight finals series, every game from here on in would be a mini final right up until the final week of the home and away season, and each result will potentially have a bigger bearing on the season than other years.

Literally every team would be a chance to potentially play finals for the remainder of the season, given the gap between fourth and 10th is just three victories. The higher finishing teams would still have the opportunity to have a double chance, while the lower-ranking teams would have more to play for in the second half of the year.

Everyone will have a differing view as to how the rest of the season shall unfold but the one thing we all must realise is there is no right or wrong way forward from here. What’s happened is hoped to be a once-in-a-lifetime experience and something we hope to never, ever encounter again.

But what we have seen is the AFL experiment with success by relocating its grand final, utilising a bold fixturing strategy and adapting to the climate. While it may be much harder for country football to do something similar, there is no reason why, for one year, we could not try something different to the norm and something historic would fit nicely within the script this unprecedented time has delivered.

Author: Fraser Lucas