THE AFL Trade Period has concluded and now, with the release of the JLT Community Series pre-season fixture, and the AFL home and away season fixture, the countdown to 2018 is well and truly under way.
Every footy fan is like a kid in a toy store when it comes to the release of any kind of fixture in the off-season, and I’m definitely no different.
However, one thing has particularly irked me in nearly every pre-season in the past, and it has again this year.
My boys, Port Adelaide, will, once again, take on the Adelaide Crows in the pre-season competition.
Two things boil my blood with this fixture; the venue and the opponent.
The game will be played at Alberton Oval which, in a historical context, is not the place for a meaningless game against the Power’s fiercest rival.
The past between Port Adelaide, the SANFL and the birth of the Crows is well-documented, which is why, as a Port supporter, I find it highly inappropriate that this fixture is to be held at Alberton because the end result is absolutely meaningless.
Alberton Oval is where many former Port Adelaide greats have left blood, sweat and tears on the field, and that is going to be belittled by 44 blokes enjoying a kick and a catch.
Another point is: why does the AFL insist on having these ‘blockbuster’ clashes in the JLT series each year?
Both Port and Crows fans have despised the notion of a ‘pre-season Showdown’ because it is so far removed from what the proper Showdown, during the premiership season, means to both clubs.
In my eyes, the pre-season is now designed to be a time where supporters can watch their club’s new talent, and not care about the result.
However, as a Power fan against the Crows, it’s not possible.
You are brought up with this sheer hatred of the Crows, likewise the Crows supporters are of the Power, and you can’t look past the fact it’s just a pre-season game.
You want to win desperately.
You still want any bragging rights, even if they are pointless, and then you’re frustrated when it’s a weak game and no-one wants to put their body on the line.
Please AFL, next season, split the two South Australian clubs up in the pre-season.
It doesn’t help anyone.