Following months of speculation and rumour, the AFL has formally introduced its shiny new AFLX competition.
AFL general manager of game development Andrew Dillon today spoke of the new and improved AFLX system. “We think it is a great method for generating interest,” Dillon said. “I look around the nation, and the AFL competition is a colossus in Australian sport. However, it could be bigger. “We believe that AFLX has potential to be a more commercial game all around the world.
The most striking difference between the traditional game, and AFLX, is that the latter is played on a rectangle field. The move to the more conventional shape should allow greater access to the sport. “Being able to play it on a rectangle field means we can grow the game in Europe, the Americas and even the Gold Coast. ”
The AFLX competition will run over three nights in February, with matches in three different cities. However, the big-ticket even it set to be Friday night’s round at Etihad stadium. Significant Melbourne-based clubs will play-off alongside North Melbourne and St Kilda. “Friday is a little like taking your new girlfriend to meet your parents,” Dillon said. “You take her out first and make sure she’s not shit because you want to impress them; they can get protective after all”.
Oddly enough, Etihad stadium will remain in its oval shape for the match. “We want to keep some familiarity with the fans,” Dillon expressed. “It is simple; we take a game suited for an oval, transform it to be played on a rectangle, then play it on an oval anyway”.
Pool A, Hindmarsh Stadium, Thursday, February 15
Adelaide, Collingwood, Fremantle, Geelong, Port Adelaide, West Coast
Pool B, Etihad Stadium, Friday, February 16
Carlton, Essendon, Hawthorn, Melbourne, North Melbourne, St Kilda
Pool C, Allianz Stadium, Saturday, February 17
Brisbane Lions, Gold Coast, Greater Western Sydney, Richmond, Sydney, Western Bulldogs