AFL could order teams to change strips - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

AFL could order teams to change strips

By Adam Cooper 10/09/2007 08:12:43 PM Comments (0)

The AFL could order Collingwood to wear an alternate strip in one of this year's preliminary finals to prevent a guernsey clash.

If the Magpies beat West Coast on Friday night at Subiaco, they will face Geelong in a preliminary final a week later, a clash that could cause confusion if both sides play in their traditional strips.

Spectators and television viewers had difficulty distinguishing between the sides when they played in round 15.

AFL football operations general manager Adrian Anderson said it was up to the league to decide what strips clubs would wear if it believed there would be a clash between the Cats' navy blue and white stripes and Collingwood's black and whites stripes.

"We'll deal with that if and when it arises, but the AFL reserves the right to put the clubs in the jumpers it determines," Anderson said.

Geelong coach Mark Thompson and AFL chief executive Andrew Demetriou were among those who thought the Cats and Magpies were tough to distinguish when the sides played in perfect conditions in mid July.

Geelong wore navy blue shorts and Collingwood white shorts that day, but spectators found it difficult watching two sides playing in dark and light colours.

While Anderson would not rule out forcing either club to wear an alternate jumper, he said having Collingwood play in black shorts and socks and the Cats in white shorts could be another option should the scenario arise.

"You'd have one team predominantly white and one team predominantly black," he said.

Collingwood have refused the AFL's encouragement to devise a clearly-defined alternate strip, but have played in a predominantly white strip this season.

Meanwhile, the AFL has acknowledged it was disappointed by the crowd size at last Saturday's elimination final between Hawthorn and Adelaide at Telstra Dome.

The Hawks and Crows drew 36,534 fans to the Docklands in perfect conditions, which was about 17,000 short of the ground's capacity.

A Telstra Dome spokesman said ground management had expected a crowd of at least 40,000 to attend the game.

Anderson said the AFL was also disappointed with the figure.

"It was a shame that Telstra Dome wasn't full to see one of the closest, most tense games," he said.

"We'd certainly hoped there'd be a few more, so it was a shame there weren't a few more to see a great game of football."

Hawthorn won the match by three points.

Anderson said Hawthorn's attendances this season were usually better at the MCG than Telstra Dome, but he stood by the league's decision to schedule Collingwood and Sydney to play at the MCG on Saturday night and the Hawks and Crows to play at the Docklands.

The Collingwood-Sydney crowd of 64,645 was also short of the 70,000 the Melbourne Cricket Club had forecast, but was televised live into Melbourne by Network Ten.

Anderson said the Saturday night crowd was very good, while the 77,630 crowd which watched Geelong beat the Kangaroos in Sunday's qualifying final was "fantastic".

A crowd of 37,750 watched Port Adelaide beat West Coast at AAMI Stadium last Friday night, but the Power have often struggled to attract capacity crowds at their home ground.

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