Morningside have been forced to make hurried plans for a trip to Adelaide this weekend after the relocation of their Round 1 clash against the NT Thunder.
Monday, 21 March, 2011
The AFL has pulled a major surprise five days out from the start of the 2011 Foxtel Cup, switching Saturday night’s scheduled Gabba clash between Morningside and the NT Thunder to Adelaide.
The match, originally to be played as a curtain-raiser to the Round 1 AFL clash between the Brisbane Lions and Fremantle at the Gabba, will now be played at AAMI Stadium on Saturday afternoon ahead of the Adelaide – Hawthorn season opener.
The League advised of the switch at 4.47pm Queensland time today via a national media release. confirming the need for the Panthers to make a hurried trip to the City of Churches on Friday.
The AFL release confirmed the game would commence at 3.05pm Adelaide time on Saturday and would be broadcast that afternoon on Fox Sports.
No details of the coverage were provided.
According to the AFL release, the game was re-scheduled, to allow the Gabba to have maximum time to be prepared for the changeover to the AFL season from cricket, and the opening match of the season between Brisbane and Fremantle.
“AAMI Stadium is well-placed to host a curtain-raiser match and the NT Thunder side will feature champion Adelaide Crows’ player Andrew McLeod in its playing ranks, as the Crows celebrate the 20-year milestone of the club’s first match in the AFL competition in 1991,” the release said.
The switch will have no bearing on the Thunder side, who have to travel regardless, but it is a move that will strip 2010 QAFL premiers Morningside of a distinct homeground advantage that would have come with a game played at the Gabba.
This Panthers – Thunder match is the opening game in the new competition which brings together 16 teams from State Leagues across the country in a knockout format.
Competing teams are Swan Districts (WA), Claremont (WA), East Perth (WA), North Ballarat (Vic), Northern Bullants (Vic), Williamstown (Vic), West Adelaide (SA), North Adelaide (SA), Port Adelaide Magpies (SA), Morningside (Qld), Labrador (Qld), NT Thunder (NT), Clarence (Tasmania), Ainslie (ACT), the East Coast Eagles (NSW) and the Greater Western Sydney Giants, who will participate in 2011 only before their entry to the AFL competition in 2012.
According to the AFL, the Foxtel Cup was designed to spread the load for the clubs during the course of their stage league seasons, and will be run as follows:
Eight round one knockout matches to be played in the period between March 26-May 21. Each match to be played on a Saturday afternoon, with seven of the games to played as curtain-raisers to an AFL match, and one match as a stand-alone match at a state-league venue.
Four round two knockout matches to be played in the period between May 28-June 18. One game would be played per week on a Saturday afternoon, with the aim to play each match as a curtain-raiser to an AFL match or as a stand-alone match at a state-league venue.
Two knockout semi-final matches to be played over the weekends of July 9 and July 16. One game would be played per week on a Saturday afternoon, with the aim to play each match as a curtain-raiser to an AFL match or as a stand-alone match at a state-league venue.
Grand Final to be played on Saturday August 6. Venue to be determined dependent on the competing teams.