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VFL GF potentially to Telstra Dome as early as 2008.
[quote]TAC Cup flicked from MCG in revamp Emma Quayle | November 11, 2007 THE AFL will establish eight new junior academies, replace the TAC Cup grand final with two national under-16 finals on the MCG on grand final day and completely revamp the under-18 championships as part of a raft of changes to the elite underage pathway program. Recruiters will be able to assess second-division draft prospects against first-division sides under the new under-18 program, which will become a six-week series played in several states. Mark Ricciuto and Luke Darcy have accepted coaching roles with both the national AIS-AFL Academy and the new state-based programs. The TAC Cup grand final — played on the MCG on grand final day since the competition began in 1992 — will be moved to Telstra Dome, possibly on the Friday of grand final week, and the ground will host the mid-week national under-18 finals during the AFL's split round. The changes mean the championships will start with a qualifying tournament in May between the four division-two sides — Tasmania, the Northern Territory, Queensland and NSW-ACT — with the top two teams to play against Vic Metro, Vic Country, South Australia and Western Australia when they meet the following month. The games will be staggered over a six-week period, played in Melbourne, Perth and Adelaide, and feature as many AFL curtain-raisers as possible. The national under-16 championships will be moved in full to the Gold Coast in late July, see each of the 200-odd players undergo fitness assessments, and conclude with the two MCG games — first and second-division finals. From there, 30 players will be offered scholarships to the AIS-AFL Academy, pushing the start of that program back several weeks, while up to 40 players will join each of the new academies, aligned to the eight national underage teams. The curriculum for each academy is still being fine-tuned with the various state bodies, but the AFL's plan is to offer more young footballers the sort of coaching and life training available now to the AIS-AFL players, through year-long programs providing ongoing access to the likes of Darcy and Ricciuto. Michael Voss and Jason McCartney will continue to assist head coach Alan McConnell in the AIS program. The AFL's game development manager, David Matthews, said staging the under-16 games on grand final day would give youngsters across Australia the chance to play on football's biggest stage, at a time when some were choosing between sports. He said the league was determined for the TAC Cup decider to maintain a presence in grand final week, if not at the MCG. "The TAC Cup has achieved some great things and we're working at the moment to place the TAC Cup grand final potentially with the VFL grand final," Matthews said. "There's the potential for them both to be played at Telstra Dome, but we certainly want to get the TAC Cup on Telstra Dome in front of a bigger crowd."[/quote] As this article in today's edition of 'The Age' shows, in a roundabout way, it appears next year's VFL GF, as has been mooted, will be played at the Dome on the Friday night before the AFL GF. We just await confirmation from the VFL upon release of the fixture, it appears a done deal. Just would like to know whether stalwart VFA fans such as George, Jason, Bobby, etc., people who have followed the competition for 30 or 40 years, will all of you still go to the GF at Telstra Dome? Thoughts? Robbo?
Edited by: admin on 28/12/2008 - 02:17 Reason: 3SER977FM