2013 NAB Cup Fixture
Victoria will host the first competitive AFL football to be played for the 2013 year when the NAB Cup begins with a triple-header match up involving Collingwood, Essendon and the Western Bulldogs at Etihad Stadium on Friday February 15 next year.
AFL General Manager Broadcasting, Scheduling and Legal Affairs Simon Lethlean today announced the fixture for the opening three rounds of the 2013 competition, including the six divisions of three teams apiece for round one, that was introduced in 2011.
Round One has been split across two weekends, Mr Lethlean said, to ensure that all six match-ups of three teams apiece were played in twilight / night conditions in the late summer period, for the opening shortened games. All clubs then play two full-scale matches across the weekends of March 1-3 and March 8-9, with the leading two teams to contest the final on either March 15 or March 16.
All Round One match-ups will be broadcast on FOX FOOTY and, following the opening night at Etihad Stadium, the Geelong Cats will travel to WA to join West Coast and Fremantle at Patersons Stadium on Saturday February 16 while St Kilda will travel to SA to join Port Adelaide and defending champions the Adelaide Crows at AAMI Stadium on Sunday February 17.
In the second week, teams will be grouped at Etihad Stadium on Friday February 22 (Richmond, Melbourne and North Melbourne), Metricon Stadium on Saturday February 23 (Brisbane Lions, Gold Coast Suns and Hawthorn) and Blacktown International Sports Park on Sunday February 24 (Sydney Swans, GWS Giants and Carlton).
"The shortened format enables clubs to use their senior players as they see fit for the opening to the season, as well as offering the flexibility to provide opportunities for new players and rookies that is such a key feature of the NAB Cup,” Mr Lethlean said.
"As we introduced for the 2012 competition, we have now fixtured each club's matches for both rounds two and three of the NAB Cup, so clubs are aware of their travel schedule and can fully plan their preparation and training workload as they build up to the start of the premiership season.
“In rounds two and three, we will mix matches across both regional venues and our major AFL venues, so that we continue to promote our game into areas that don't normally host AFL football,” he said.
NAB Cup matches will be taken to Townsville (Qld), Wagga (NSW), Wangaratta (Victoria) and Renmark (SA) across the weekend of March 1-3 with matches to be played at Manuka Oval (ACT), Casey Fields (Victoria), Aurora Stadium (Tas), Alice Springs (NT) and Northam (WA) on March 8-9.
National Australia Bank’s Chief Marketing Officer, Kevin Ramsdale, said NAB was pleased the NAB Cup would again extend to reach many Australian communities.
“The great thing about the NAB Cup is that it allows us to take the AFL to thousands of people around the country who don’t often get a chance to experience footy at this level. I know our employees and customers in regional towns such as Wangaratta, Townsville and Wagga will be pleased to see the game heading their way," Mr Ramsdale said.
"The NAB Cup also provides an opportunity to sample what is ahead for the premiership season: coaches such as Mick Malthouse and Ken Hinkley taking the reins at new clubs, recent NAB AFL Draftees such as Joe Daniher and Jack Viney debuting on the big stage and established players, such as Brendon Goddard taking the field for a new club. It really is an exciting time of year," he continued.
The shortened matches in round one will again comprise two 20-minute halves (approximately) across a three-hour window for the three matches. Clubs will then play full-scale matches in weeks two and three of the NAB Cup. All matches across the three rounds (two shortened games and two full games) will count equally for four points and percentage, with the two best-performed teams over the opening three rounds to compete in the NAB Cup Grand Final.
Mr Lethlean said FOX FOOTY would exclusively cover all of the matches in round 1 of the NAB Cup live, six matches live in round two and five matches live in round three, while the NAB Cup Grand Final would be broadcast live by both FOX FOOTY and the Seven Network.