Townsville Bulletin

Mclachlan ponders re-entering twilight zone for decider

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AFL chief executive Gillon McLachlan was blown away by Saturday’s “spectacula­r” twilight grand final in Perth and can’t rule out a similar timeslot when the game returns to the MCG next year.

Barring another Covid-19 disaster, the grand final will be back in Melbourne, where the AFL has a contract to play the game until 2058.

During two years on the road, first in Brisbane in 2020 then

Perth this year, the grand final has been played as a night game at the Gabba then a twilight game in Perth with a 5.15pm local start.

A return to the MCG could mean a return to the traditiona­l day grand final, but having witnessed the effects of a twilight game, Mclachlan said “nothing could be taken for granted”.

“It was pretty spectacula­r,” he said on 3AW. “I don’t know if it picked it up on television, but the light late in the day … it was a beautiful day here, and the light just faded into black.

“It was a pretty good slot, I thought. I like where it was for this stadium – I think it worked perfectly.

“But the MCG’S different. We’ll process it and have a look.”

The grand final’s timing is an annual hot topic and fans are divided on the best timeslot.

Mclachlan said the MCG’S likely 2022 hosting time would be reviewed by the AFL Commission, but a decision was not imminent.

“I don’t think anything should be taken for granted. We’ll have a look at it,” he told 3AW. “I know how many people want it during the day at the MCG. I think you play it on its merits given the venue, the state, the circumstan­ce.”

Mclachlan also had sympathy for grand final MC Basil Zempilas, who has been severely criticised for not allowing winning Melbourne coach Simon Goodwin to make a speech.

Zempilas forgot to invite Goodwin to the microphone before the Demons were presented with the premiershi­p cup.

“It was a mistake. Mistakes happen,” Mclachlan said. “It was disappoint­ing for Simon, but it was a mistake. Simon will have his moment and I don’t think it’ll stop Dees supporters loving every minute of it, too much.”

 ?? ?? Gillon Mclachlan.
Gillon Mclachlan.

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