Thanks for reading and the kind words. And also thanks for the reminder that this Institute carries the same gravitas as the esteemed Ponds Institute.
Did they get their degrees from the Hollywood Upstairs Medical College too?
In establishing the AFL Women's football league, the nation's footy fans should pay kudos to the head honcho's for getting it into gear.
AFL HQ was late to the party, with other codes such as cricket, soccer, basketball (etc) resoundingly beating them to the punch. But finally footy is, and belongs in, the 21st century.
But lets also acknowledge some of the errors along the way.
- awarding licenses to teams who clearly lacked critical infrastructure to accommodate them.
- scheduling games at venues that could not handle the crowds.
- underestimating the interest in the league.
- relegating the fledgling league to second fiddle behind the men's practice game series (via scheduling games in awkward time slots etc).
And you could add to that list the poorly thought out approach to the competition's grand final.
It looks as though, on the prima facie evidence of a vacant MCG on Saturday afternoon of round 1, that the League either
- expected a Melbourne-based team to be in the final and host the game at the MCG, or
- they were planning to host the final at the MCG regardless of who made the cut.
And it also appears as though this plan was changed once the AFLW League gained strength and popularity.
Which is where we find ourselves as of the end of the final round.
Under the 'merit-based final' concept, the game should be played in Queensland, yet the venue choice is not clear cut. The Gabba wants to protect its surface for the cricket - which is 6 months away (go figure!).
Carrara hosts its home team the Gold Coast Suns and Brisbane in round one, but the concept of a Grand Final as a curtain raiser is odious, at best.
Other Brisbane area venues wont provide enough capacity for a final, and also draw Lions (and Qld AFL) fans apart. Brisbane for the AFLW final? Or Carrara for the local derby?
Mooted also is the idea to play the AFLW final at Adelaide.
So much for the merits of topping the table.
And of course, the MCG behemoth sits idle on a Saturday afternoon, waiting to draw the AFLW final into its web.
So what is the solution?
In the short term, there is not much of a real solution that will satisfy everyone. Chalk it down to a lack of experience, care, foresight and understanding of the product the League had.
In the long term though, how about letting the stadia of Australia 'bid' for the hosting rights?
Secure a ground and begin planning a year before. Build the final into something special, a Womens footy final and festival of the non-stiletto.
Open up the hosting to anywhere there is a decent ground, facilities, lights, etc (with pre-determined minimum standards).
Let Canberra host one year, Geelong the next, the Sydney Showground as well another year.
Build certainty into the schedule, and allow for fans, players and all others in the industry to plan in advance.
Create something special in these cities. A finals week festival of footy, shared around the nation.
There is no intrinsic tradition around the AFLW. There is no fixed logic (other than the perceived 'right' to host via finishing on top) why the final must be played at anyone's home ground, or the MCG.
Share the love. Share the final.
Give footy back to Australia.
Week 7 Wash-up:Melbourne needed to win to make the final and damn well went out there and did win. The most decisive win then the AFLW.
Their fate rested with the Crows, who were down at three quarter time against Collingwood at the Postage Stamp. The Crows rallied to win in the last quarter and take away the Demon's dreams.
Amazing last full week of AFL Women's footy.
|PREDICTED RESULT||ACTUAL RESULT||RATINGS ADJUSTMENTS|
|W Bulldogs/FFC||by||5||pts||W Bulldogs/FFC||by||32||pts||GWS||-24||W Bulldogs/FFC||+11|
|Brisbane Lions||by||4||pts||Carlton||by||0||pts||Carlton||+1||Brisbane Lions||-2|
The final rankings before... the final!
Tip for Week 8: The Final
And speaking of the final...
|GF||Brisbane Lions||18||v||16||Adelaide||Brisbane Lions||by||4||pts|
Adelaide look to have enough of a performance based ranking to defeat Brisbane away, though with a home state advantage, it looks a Lions Premiership.
Both teams also have strong form lines heading into this game as well.
Really, a four point tip is all but equivalent to a coin toss.
Will be a great game to watch, and to round out the season.