CLUBS have called on the AFL to continue the Festival of Footy in coming seasons after the success of its COVID-19 enforced bonanza.
The League's 20-straight days of football, which entails 33 games, will finish next Monday when Richmond takes on the Suns at the Gabba.
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Clubs have been forced to play off as little as four-day turnarounds as the AFL crams in games to ensure this season is completed and have managed their squads throughout the condensed block of games.
But after strong TV ratings the League is likely to look at holding a block of games in a usual fixture in the middle of the season.
Collingwood chief executive Mark Anderson is supportive of the concept being maintained for next year.
"There's been good feedback on a block of condensed fixturing," Anderson told AFL.com.au this week.
"Whether we retain a little bit of that into next year – it couldn't be an extended period – but even in the block of mid-winter it might have some merit.
"There's been great interest, particularly in winter when fans are loving the Festival of Footy, it has worked well so I think that's another one we could potentially retain a version of."
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Midweek games have been common in the NBA and cricket's Big Bash competition, with the AFL heading into this period carefully monitoring the rotation of players, injury rates, and the weekly training schedules.
The value of an extra bye for each club has also been seen as an advantage of the slab of consecutive matches, but Anderson said getting the right amount of games would be crucial.
"I think overplaying it starts to lose a little bit," he said.
"But absolutely, one block of a condensed fixture where people know they're coming into it, they can plan that, it does give the depth of the list a bit of a test in that block of winter where people can plonk themselves in front of the tele and cheer on their own team a number of times and matches every night.
"I think it's a good feel in the middle of winter and then coming out of that block as a chance to go back to normality and freshen up as you want your best teams in good form and with all players available in the finals."
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Geelong coach Chris Scott also said this week he believed the fixture cram was worth considering in 2021.
"Shortened games are helping, but there's nothing I'm seeing that's saying this model is impossible into the future," he said.
Scott said there are benefits of having games fixtured differently at certain times of the year.
"Even from a spectacle perspective, most people I know who follow footy are loving the fact it's on every night so the opportunity to spread it across the country and have footy on most nights of the week and play up here," he said.
"Much smarter people than me are working through those things. The question was: could you do it?
"Our players will probably curse me for saying it's possible, you'd need to think it through and you couldn't do it every week, but some version of it is possible."