27/05/2024

Sydney is set for a Football feast in Round 12. Image: @SCG. Twitter

It’s an all too familiar feeling for the AFL, having to evacuate clubs from footballs heartland, Victoria. With no definitive return date set, the Australian Rules Football roadshow looks like it will take place again in season 2021.

Last season it was Queensland who came to the AFL, housing all Victorian and at different periods, the South Australian and Western Australian teams as the code strived to play on amid coronavirus clusters and border closures.

Now, with Victorian teams on the road again as the league desperately tries to outrun and stay away from a locked-down Victoria, the AFL has found a friend in its closest neighboring state New South Wales with three teams already taking refuge in Sydney, with others set to follow in the short term.

Now confirmed by the AFL,  Sydney will host 3 out of the 6 games in Round 12, with the Melbourne vs Brisbane blockbuster – originally slated for Alice Springs to be held at Giants Stadium on Friday Night. St. Kilda’s clash against Sydney, originally slated to be played at Marvel Stadium is now likely to be flipped with the Swans, with the Swans hosting this weeks game at the SCG with the return meeting in Round 21 to be hosted by the Saints, hopefully for their sake at a packed Marvel Stadium.

Carlton will play West Coast Eagles at the SCG on Sunday, rounding out the football feast in New South Wales.

Sydney Swans coach John Longmire said that any chances to showcase and grow the game in New South Wales is a positive move for the code, and encouraged the locals to see all the stars in action.

“I think it’s great to get some more AFL content in this market” he said at a Bondi Beach recovery session earlier in the week.

“Its been great with the Giants, even here today you have the Richmond boys out there doing some recovery, a couple of Essendon boys walking along the beach”

“It’s a great spot Sydney”

Longmire, who has been the coach of the Swans for over 10 years and at the Swans since 2002 has seen the growth of Aussie Rules first hand in New South Wales. From the rise of the Swans and the expansion with the second team and all the talent being brought into the AFL system through the respective academies, Footy in New South Wales is as strong as it has ever been.

“the game has grown enormously over the 20 odd years I’ve been here and to see the opportunity to keep, what is a really tough time in Victoria, and understand those players and staff are away from their families, but, for the game up here to get some content, that’s the positive to come out of it.”

The AFL continues to monitor the evolving situation in Victoria and hope that the season can continue on with minimal interruptions.

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