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North skipper says no to Good Friday footy

Nick Bowen  March 25, 2013 3:32 PM

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Andrew Demetriou and Andrew Swallow say they are opposed to football being play on Good Friday

If I was to take the club line I would say yes, but personally I would prefer not to
AFL GAMES should not be played on Good Friday, North Melbourne skipper Andrew Swallow says, despite his club's longstanding campaign to be part of a blockbuster game on the Christian holiday.

Swallow, a practising Christian, acknowledged the conflict between his club loyalties and religious beliefs, but said he would prefer not to play on Good Friday.  

"If I was to take the club line I would say yes, but personally I would prefer not to," Swallow said on Monday at a press conference at AFL House.

"I just don't think football should be played on Good Friday. It should be left a day where there's no football at all."

AFL CEO Andrew Demetriou was sitting alongside Swallow at the press conference and reiterated his consistent stance that Good Friday should remain football free.

"You've heard my view on it. I think for the people who respect the day and, despite the fact they might be in the minority, they're very passionate about it," Demetriou said.

"And the people who advocate playing on Good Friday they are not as passionate about whether to play or not to play."

Meanwhile, Swallow said former rookie Majak Daw was in contention for selection in North's round one team that will take on Collingwood at Etihad Stadium on Sunday.

"He'll be very close, he's been in the mix for a long time," Swallow said of Daw, who will become the first Sudanese-born player to play an AFL game if selected.

"Whether he plays round one or a couple of rounds in, he's really close. He's had a brilliant pre-season and I expect to see him out there a fair bit this year."

One of the most difficult round one selection calls North faces is between ruckmen Todd Goldstein and Daniel Currie.

Swallow said "early on" in North's pre-season games he thought Currie might have done enough to edge Goldstein out of the No.1 ruck position he has held at Aegis Park for the past two seasons.

But he said after watching Goldstein and Currie play in North's final pre-season game against Hawthorn he didn't "have a clue" who would get the nod at selection.

Swallow said former Port Adelaide defender Ben Jacobs was also firmly in the selection mix to play against the Magpies.

Swallow said the Roos' solid pre-season and round 21 win over Collingwood last season gave them confidence they could match it with the Pies on Sunday.

North was inconsistent against the top teams last season, recording impressive wins over Collingwood and Geelong, but suffering big losses to Hawthorn and West Coast.

Swallow said the Roos were hopeful they could be more consistent in 2013.

"I'm sure Collingwood has improved over the pre-season but it does give us confidence to know that when we're playing good football we can beat a really quality side like Collingwood has been for such a long time," Swallow said.

The Roos' clash with the Pies marks the start of a tough fixture that also pits them against 2012 finalists Geelong, the Sydney Swans and Hawthorn in the first five rounds.

Swallow welcomed the challenge.

"It's good we're going to test ourselves. We'll know pretty early on how we're going," he said.

Nick Bowen covers North Melbourne news for AFL.com.au. Follow him on Twitter: @AFL_Nick