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AFL proposes radical shake-up for 2021

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The AFL’s Footy Frenzy is set to make an unexpected return in 2021, with the organisation planning a radical shake-up to scheduling next season. Although the annual schedule is traditionally unveiled before the season commences in March, The Herald Sun’s Jon Ralph has reported the schedule could be released in blocks of four or six weeks. The…

The AFL’s Footy Frenzy is set to make an unexpected return in 2021, with the organisation planning a radical shake-up to scheduling next season.

Although the annual schedule is traditionally unveiled before the season commences in March, The Herald Sun’s Jon Ralph has reported the schedule could be released in blocks of four or six weeks.

The AFL are also planning to continue trialling the Footy Frenzy format next year, which saw broadcast numbers spike on weekdays.

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Nic Savage

The AFL’s Footy Frenzy is set to make an unexpected return in 2021, with the organisation planning a radical shake-up to scheduling next season.

Although the annual schedule is traditionally unveiled before the season commences in March, The Herald Sun’s Jon Ralph has reported the schedule could be released in blocks of four or six weeks.

Also, the COVID-inspired Footy Frenzy proved a successful venture for the AFL in 2020, where fixtures were played every evening over several weeks.

The AFL are planning to continue trialling the condensed schedule format next year, which saw broadcast numbers spike on weekdays where competing winter codes don’t clash.

Although the frenzy would need to be ticked off by AFL players, it would appease the AFLPA, who have been pushing for more byes.

The first cluster of fixtures is not expected to be announced until late February, according to the report.


Nic Savage

The AFL has revealed plan to renovate Marvel Stadium in the hope of making it “one of the best sports and entertainment destinations in the world”.

Construction will begin in 2021, and will include upgrades to team facilities in the venue and the addition of a town square style space.

AFL chief executive Gillon McLachlan said: “The designers have captured our desire to amplify the stadium’s ability to host multiple events across a calendar year and ensure fan experience has been front of mind when designing the upgrade.

“By renovating the existing structure, it will provide a more environmentally sustainable way of building, as well as ensuring minimal disruption to fans.”

READ MORE: $225m transformation for Aussie stadium

One-time cult figure Aku Uate has announced his retirement, bringing the curtain down on a stellar career spanning 14 seasons.

Uate took to his personal Facebook page on Thursday to confirm he was hanging up the boots following a chronic ankle injury.

The former Newcastle, Manly and Huddersfield flyer attempted to rehabilitate his injury, but when it wouldn’t fully recover, he opted to retire.

Uate finishes his career as the Knights’ highest try scorer in club history, with 110 tries in 161 games from 2008 to 2016.

– Matt Logue, NCA NewsWire

READ MORE: Cult figure announces retirement


russellgouldnews

Aussie Test star Nathan Lyon has set himself a target of more than 500 wickets as he edges towards his 100th match in the baggy green.

Lyon is set to become just the 10th player in Australian history to reach 100 Tests in the fourth and final match against India in Brisbane in January.

He has racked up 390 wickets in his 96 Tests, already the most by any Australian off-spinner.

But Lyon, who turns 33 on Friday, declared he was still getting better and said 500 wickets was “definitely on the radar”.

– NCA NewsWire

READ MORE: Lyon wants 500 Test wickets


Tyson Otto

NRL legend Benji Marshall’s hopes of an NRL contract for 2021 have been plunged into a desolate situation following a report his top hope Cronulla isn’t interested.

Marshall’s dwindling options to continue his career into one final season at a rival club headline a series of dramatic moves taking shape across the NRL player market.

It was reported this week the Sharks loomed as Marshall’s most likely home for next year, but a contrasting report on Friday revealed Cronulla isn’t looking at the veteran playmaker.

READ MORE: Rug pulled from underneath Benji


Nic Savage

Australian cricket icon Ricky Ponting has called for national selectors to back Joe Burns for the opening position in the Test team.

Although Victorian prodigy Will Pucovski has dominated the Sheffield Shield this season, Ponting believes incumbent Burns deserves an opportunity to prove his worth at Test level.

“When I was captain, I had a pretty strong philosophy with the selectors that once you’re in my team, I wanted to do everything I could to make sure you stayed there,” Ponting told cricket.com.au.

“I didn’t want to be making changes and I always felt it was my responsibility as captain to get the absolute best out of the players I had in my team.

“I think it gives individuals a bit more confidence to go out and play a certain way and not be scared about their position in the line-up. That adds a lot around the group.

“Burns hasn’t done much wrong. If you go back to last summer, he played really well in the first Test in Brisbane and I remember saying then to lock him in and give him a good go at it for a while.

“The boys have been on a roll with their performances in Test cricket, and I always say you don’t want to be making too many changes if you don’t need to.”

Several Aussie cricket greats, including former Test captain Mark Taylor, have claimed Pucovski should pair with David Warner for the first Test match against India.


Nic Savage

Collingwood president Eddie McGuire has responded to suggestions he should stand down from his role at the Magpies following the chaotic trade period.

The Magpies administration came under fire for trading several of their biggest names for little avail, leading to former board member David Galbally calling for McGuire to resign.

Galbally told The Herald Sun: “The Collingwood administration has lost the plot.

“They really need a new administration at Collingwood. Full stop.

“Eddie needs to step down. He can’t stay there forever. He’s not there for life. And it’s not healthy for the club to have the same person serve in that role for as long as he has.

“The presidency of the Collingwood Football Club carries with it enormous imprimatur, right across the community – and it’s very hard to let go and give it away. But it’s time. The club has got to look to the future. It needs new ideas and a fresh approach.”

But McGuire was unfazed by the remarks, delivering a scathing response on Triple M’s Hot Breakfast.

“It’s a big story – the Herald Sun, I got past the Harvey Norman ad on the back page to get into it,” McGuire said.

“There’s not much on today, (author) Mick Warner has obviously got the teledex out rung around and found David Galbally. David’s had his say, good luck to him.”

Lionel Messi had his private jet stormed by the Spanish tax agency on the tarmac at Barcelona airport – a fiasco the Argentine hero labelled as “madness”.

Messi, 33, returned from international duty on Wednesday.

But before he even had the chance to head into the terminal, Marca reports up to five officials boarded his customised aeroplane and asked the Barca captain and the entire crew to provide documentation.

As he headed through customs at Barcelona El Prat airport, Messi was ordered to pay a tax, the report adds.

– The Sun

READ MORE: ‘Madness’ driving Messi to Man City


Jai Bednall

One of the toughest years of Payne Haas’ life is ending on a bright note after he and girlfriend Leilani Mohenoa announced they’re expecting a baby girl.

Mohenoa posted a photograph of an ultrasound on Instagram on Thursday night with the caption: “We lost an angel but he sent us another that same month. Baby girl due in May.”

READ MORE: Haas' ecstasy amid tragedy

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