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Goddard 'grudge match' likely for round four

St Kilda supporters may not have to wait long to vent their displeasure at Brendon Goddard.

St Kilda supporters may not have to wait long to vent their displeasure at Brendon Goddard. Photo: Getty Images

ST KILDA supporters may not have to wait long next season to vent their displeasure at  former star Brendon Goddard, with the first grudge match against his new team Essendon pencilled in for round four.

The Saints and Bombers met only once last season, in round 15 when the Saints prevailed by 71 points, but will almost certainly clash twice next year to capitalise on Goddard’s defection. His decision to shift clubs on the opening day of free agency is likely to prove a financial boon in terms of gate receipts for each team.

"St Kilda and Essendon are likely to play twice at this stage," AFL chief operating officer Gillon McLachlan said.

"The first match is probably going to be in round four."

The two clubs already have a healthy rivalry. Almost 46,000 attended the round-15 clash at Etihad Stadium after a crowd of more than 47,500 filled the Docklands venue in round three.

At least one of next year’s matches may need to be held at the MCG to maximise attendance.

The Goddard showdown will add to the handful of blockbusters the AFL has to kick-start its season, which will open on the weekend of March 22-23, a week after the NAB Cup final.

Round one will again be split over two weeks. However, this time there will be two matches — Adelaide will host Essendon on Friday, March 22, and there will be a Fremantle-West Coast  derby the following day.
This will be the first time since 1991, when the Crows made their debut, that Adelaide has hosted the opening match of the season.

The MCG is not available until the Easter weekend because of Sheffield Shield contractual obligations.
The four clubs that play on the opening week will have the second week off. Traditional rivals Carlton and Richmond will open their seasons on Easter Thursday at the MCG, with the round ending  on Easter Monday when Geelong and Hawthorn do battle.

The Blues have requested a home fixture against Collingwood in round two, most likely on a Friday night as they seek to capitalise on having secured Mick Malthouse as coach, while Collingwood and Essendon  will clash on Anzac Day in round five. The full fixture will be released later this month.

The AFL also looks certain to stage an "Ablett v Caddy" clash at Skilled Stadium at the start of winter in a historic home-and-away clash marking Geelong’s first game under lights at its traditional home.

Geelong is expected to play host to the Gold Coast on Saturday, June 1, the first of potentially three night games at Skilled Stadium next season.

Josh Caddy has crossed to Geelong with the Suns gaining the Cats’ first round compensation pick they received for Gary Ablett.

The expectation of the competition is that none of the top eight from 2012 will play the Gold Coast or Greater Western Sydney twice with the exception of Sydney which must have two games  against the Giants.

Midfielder Farren Ray looks set to stay a Saint, according to his manager, Marty Pask.

73 comments

  • What if Goddard doesn't play cause of injury or suspension? That would mean it's just another game between two teams that did not reach the finals last season...
    wait a minute, even if he palys it's still just a game between two bottom 8 teams...

    Commenter
    what blockbuster?
    Date and time
    October 15, 2012, 2:52PM
    • I wouldn't be banking on those kinds of numbers to attend just at this point. Essendon have some of the most fickle supports of all, being true bandwagon fans. Should they be struggling in the latter part of the year, they may have 15-20,000 less than anticipated. If you think I'm joking, see the Collingwood vs Essendon games this year, and Richmond vs Essendon games this year.
      Anzac day - crowd was 88,000.
      round 22 - crowd was a paltry 57,000.

      Dreamtime game - crowd was 80,000.
      Round 22: a paltry 47,590.

      Essendon fans only get to games if their club is doing well.

      Commenter
      Colonel Kurtz
      Date and time
      October 15, 2012, 3:28PM
    • Least we didn't choke our chance.

      Commenter
      TheLostAustralia
      Date and time
      October 15, 2012, 3:46PM
    • Trust the Colonel to know plenty about paltry.

      Commenter
      CaptainMyCaptain
      Date and time
      October 15, 2012, 4:01PM
    • @Colonel Kurtz - I'd be commending Essendon players and fans for turning up for two games in the same round.

      And presumably we don't need any marketing hype to surround the Anzac day or Dreamtime clash either?

      Commenter
      Impressive
      Date and time
      October 15, 2012, 4:29PM
    • Now that Goddard is playing for Essendon, your prediction of him getting injured by round 4 is not too far off I reckon.

      Commenter
      genotek
      Date and time
      October 15, 2012, 4:51PM
    • The ANZAC day game trounces the second Ess v Collingwood game every year, not just in 2012. A lot of people turn up on April 25 for the sense of occasion. Ditto for Dreamtime - lots of people turn up just because it's the Dreamtime match.

      Essendon has excellent attendances - we're one of the most watched teams in the country. This is not and never has been an issue. Our problem at the moment is winning games in the second half of the year!

      Commenter
      Laki
      Location
      Windy Hill
      Date and time
      October 15, 2012, 5:36PM
    • Huh? The Saints finished in the top half. Ninth of 18 - what sport do you follow?

      Commenter
      Bill
      Location
      Melbourne
      Date and time
      October 15, 2012, 6:49PM
    • "The Saints and Bombers met only once last season, in round 15 when the Saints prevailed by 71 points"

      "The two clubs already have a healthy rivalry. Almost 46,000 attended the round-15 clash at Etihad Stadium after a crowd of more than 47,500 filled the Docklands venue in round three".

      Which ones right???

      Commenter
      Chris
      Location
      Glenelg SA
      Date and time
      October 16, 2012, 7:23AM
    • Colonel Kurtz, it would perhaps be worth considering that in your mentioning of the Richmond games that the first -the Dreamtime match- was an Essendon home game and the second was a Richmond home game. Logic would therefore dictate that the boys from Punt Road were more responsible for the poor attendance in the second game. Also considering the fact that the average AFL attendance this year was 32, 747 (http://www.footywire.com/afl/footy/attendances) you'd have to admit that everything you just said borders on redundant. Get off hating Essendon and employ a little more logic next time.

      Commenter
      amidwesterncowboy
      Date and time
      October 16, 2012, 9:35AM

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