Geelong coach Chris Scott calls out ‘frustrating’ part of AFL’s Opening Round

Geelong coach Chris Scott has called out the “frustrating” part of the AFL’s new compromised fixture following the Opening Round.

The inaugural four-match curtain-raiser — dubbed ‘round zero’ by fans — drew sell-out crowds to venues across NSW and Queensland last week.

Critics of the concept point out that Opening Round and associated byes in the early weeks of the season will give eight of the competition’s 18 clubs an additional break.

Stream analysis, local footy and the biggest moments free on 7plus 7plus

It will also cause a lopsided ladder until after Round 6 when all teams have played the same number of games.

While Scott conceded the compromise might be necessary for the greater good, he wants the AFL to be honest about it.

“Of course it does (compromise the fixture) but like with a lot of these things, is the juice worth the squeeze? In this case it probably is,” Scott said on Fox Footy on Monday night.

“Let’s just be honest. Of course it compromises it, but it might be worth it.”

One common theory is that teams who played a match in the opening round will have an advantage against rivals running out for their first game this week.

“Maybe, but the bigger compromise is that those teams get two byes compared to every other team (getting one),” Scott said.

“If you ask the players, and this has gone on for a long time, the Players Association pushed the AFL to bring back the two byes and the answer was always there was no time.

“But now they’ve found the time — that’s the frustrating part.

“And ‘compromise’ sometimes gets a bad rap; sometimes you need to compromise for the greater good.

“That could be the case in this situation, but my point is just don’t pretend it’s not a compromise. Of course it is.”

Despite the concerns, AFL football boss Laura Kane has given the strongest indication yet that Opening Round is here to stay,

Kane was pleased with attendances, television ratings, membership sales and corporate support, declaring the round a success for the code in rugby league heartland.

She said there were “ticks everywhere” and was positive about the concept continuing in 2025.

“If you asked anyone today, you’d probably say yes — all the eight clubs that participated, everyone up there,” Kane said on Fox Footy.

“We’ll look at it, we’ll review everything, but I loved it.”

Kane said the 10 clubs that were not part of the inaugural opening round had “a bit of FOMO” — fear of missing out.

“It reminded me of Gather Round last year,” Kane said.

“If you were there you loved it and had a terrific time (but) if you weren’t there you were sort of looking over the hill wondering what was going on because it was really fun.”

– With AAP

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.