28/02/2024

The Adelaide Crows won the last AFLW Premiership. Photo: @CrowsAFLW Twitter

The AFLW grand final has a standalone timeslot, but will it be able to maintain focus surrounded by the men's game? The Press Box discusses.

After the most successful season so far, the AFLW season ends on Saturday afternoon with Adelaide taking on Brisbane for the premiership.

The timeslot, however, has been a matter of some debate, with it now moved to a Saturday afternoon timeslot.

“Their family and friends who are also footy fans and probably play, can’t come and watch because, they’re all fixtured to play local games, on a Saturday afternoon,” co-host Sam Tugwell pointed out on The Press Box podcast.

“So they’re kind of hoping that a Sunday arvo, clean air, would have been better.

“I mean Erin Phillips’s dad, Greg Phillips, is coaching a local team on Saturday afternoon.”

Co-host Dale Fletcher said they should push the local league games back a week due to the clash, with a report in The Advertiser saying that Phillips won’t be coaching on Saturday if it clashes with the AFLW.

“Make the SANFLW and Adelaide footy league, a week late,” he said.

“You don’t want to see a forfeit.

“But it doesn’t come around often, a grand final on your home deck.”

Guest co-host Jack Hudson went one step further with what he wanted to see with the AFLW grand final.

“I would like to see it on a standalone weekend,” he said.

“Make it a real spectacle.

“It’s hovering still around the men’s game, I’d rather it on its own.

“It’s what, round 5? Too early to have a season bye, make it deeper into the season.

“Have a weekend where it’s the AFLW grand final weekend and give them the proper spotlight they deserve. “

Tugwell had a suggestion for a later timeslot.

“We’re all about this twilight grand final for the men’s,” he said.

“Could you go a 4.00 start, ends twilight, 6-6:30, past daylight savings so it’ll be under lights by then.

“And then you’ve got that twilightly Sunday, so everyone can get there, it’s past all the men’s fixtures it’s the last one of the week, people tune in across the country, Sunday evening for the AFLW grand final.”

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“If you bring the AFLW into the same time as the AFL, maybe three, four, five years down the track when there’s 18 teams, if there’s a bye or the men’s have a week off between the prelim and the grand final, there’s the perfect weekend,” he said.

Hudson agreed, and threw up an alternative timeslot as well.

“Push the season a bit deeper in, have it on Queen’s Birthday, Sunday twilight- you’ve got the day off tomorrow,” he said.

All this talk about an alternative timeslot is born out of a concern over its Saturday afternoon slot, which is directly followed by four men’s AFL games, two of which start immediately after the match.

Tugwell made these concerns known.

“It’s like they’re going, ‘alright well done, you’ve got your cup’ Alright into the men’s again, here’s the primetime Saturday night slots,” he said,

“I commend the AFL for doing what they’ve done given its airtime, but it still doesn’t quite feel like it’s enough.

“I agree with Ebony Marinoff on this where they probably could’ve done this a little better to help the lower women’s comps and just be overall better broadcast.”

“There’s going to be so many people who want to go, but can’t go, because they’ve got prior commitments,” Hudson said.

“It’s a real shame, so book it further in advance, and give it to the host state, or whatever.”

“it’s a great timeslot but it’s just not the right surroundings of it.”

Despite this the trio have strong optimism of the future.

“It’ll get there,” Fletcher said, and Hudson and Tugwell agreed.

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