THE AFL will again put Good Friday footy up for grabs next year, but a busy Easter schedule is set to quickly narrow the list of teams available for the fixture should it remain in Victoria.
Easter Sunday falls just four days before Anzac Day in 2019, meaning the AFL calendar will feature a blockbuster period where football will be played on 10 of 11 days in April.
While it's thought North Melbourne is again the favourite to host Good Friday football in 2019, having done so since the game's inception last year, the final make-up of the contest remains unknown and is unlikely to be revealed until the full fixture is released in October.
But the hectic schedule around next year's Easter and Anzac Day period means the Western Bulldogs, St Kilda or Carlton loom as North Melbourne's only possible Victorian opponents, should they retain the rights to hold the game at Etihad Stadium.
Geelong and Hawthorn are again likely to meet on Easter Monday, before Richmond and Melbourne clash in their traditional Anzac Day Eve encounter just two days later.
Collingwood and Essendon's Anzac Day blockbuster will land on a Thursday next year, six days after Good Friday, potentially making only four Victorian clubs available for the fixture.
An interstate opponent – likely one with a large Victorian supporter base such as Adelaide or Sydney – is also an outside chance to feature, while the AFL hasn't ruled out the possibility of taking the game interstate altogether.
The Kangaroos hosted the Dogs in the inaugural Good Friday match in 2017, drawing an impressive attendance of 42,814 people. However, the Dogs were replaced by the Saints this year in a sloppy encounter that attracted a crowd of only 33,966.
The epic 11-day festival of footy could be kickstarted by Brisbane, with the Lions hopeful of regaining their former regular slot on the Thursday evening before Good Friday.
Brisbane is set to make the Thursday night match at the Gabba one of its top priorities when clubs are asked to finalise their fixture requests next Friday. Collingwood has been touted as a likely opponent for the encounter.
2019's festival of footy
Thursday 18 April: Thursday Night Footy
Friday 19 April: Good Friday game
Saturday 20 April: Four games
Sunday 21 April: Easter Sunday – two games
Monday 22 April: Geelong v Hawthorn
Tuesday 23 April: No footy
Wednesday 24 April: Richmond v Melbourne
Thursday 25 April: Anzac Day – Collingwood v Essendon
Friday 26 April: Friday Night Footy
Saturday 27 April: Four games
Sunday 28 April: Two games
All dates and games TBC