Melbourne captain Daisy Pearce has presented her solution to the AFLW fixturing issue on Channel 7’s Game Day.
The AFL is reportedly set to reduce the length of the season to six weeks – despite expanding the competition to 10 teams – and Pearce slammed them for it earlier in the week.
However, she’s now come up with her alternative to their plans.
“I guess, don’t present a problem, come with a solution, so this my one,” Pearce told Game Day.
“Start the season a little bit earlier, so a January 5th start, play nine home-and-away games and then the four-team finals system – so 1 versus 4, 2 versus 3 and a Grand Final the week after.
“So the season runs for 11 weeks and the Grand Final lands the week before the AFL (season starts) so you’re not going head-to-head with your own product.
“You do go up against the Australian Open and Big Bash at times, but with clever fixturing I think you can get around it.”
Pearce is also prepared for the AFL’s inevitable argument that starting so early on the calendar would mean competing with too many other codes.
“I think (the push-back from the AFL would be) the commercial reality of broadcasting, trying to fit it in a time frame where there isn’t a lot of competition against other sports. I understand that,” Pearce said.
“Those reasons have been made pretty clear, but I’d ask, are those reasons right?
“When you’re trying to offer an elite, professional women’s competition and be the premier product and sport of choice in this country, I wonder whether that’s realistic or the right decision.”
The AFL is set to expand the competition again next season to 14 teams which will only make the fixturing issues even more complicated.