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Dangerfield's radical fixture plan for AFL season

GEELONG superstar Patrick Dangerfield has floated a re-worked 34-game fixture as a solution to inequity in the AFL draw.
Finding fairness in a 23-week competition has been a challenge for the League and Dangerfield said he was a fan of a 17-round season that saw all 18 teams play each other once.
However, he anticipated opposition to the idea from players, who would likely see their pay cut in line with a reduced broadcast rights deal.  
The Brownlow medallist's solution was to extend the season significantly to 34 games and allow all teams to play each other twice, while shortening the length of games to account for the demands of a longer campaign. 
"I think 17 games makes sense purely because of the fact that it's fair, you play everyone once," Dangerfield told SEN on Monday. 
"The other alternative, what if you played 34 games? But instead of playing 120 minutes of footy, you cut it to 18-minute fixed quarters, so you're playing less than 80 minutes of footy.
"I’ve worked it out, it's a bit over five games extra (in game time) that you’d play a season.
"In terms of the revenue that that would create, it would jump significantly because there'd be more games played."
Players will be in action from February 15 this year when AFLX is launched and a 34-week season from that date would not end until the weekend of October 6-7, with finals still to be played.
AFL Players' Association player development manager Brett Johnson said that ultimately the collective bargaining agreement between the VFL and the AFLPA would dictate how the fixture looked over the next five seasons. 
"At this point in time we've agreed on the CBA that's in place for the next five years, and there's a fixture in place and there's some commercial realities that we need to work through," he said. 
"We're in constant conversations with the AFL about how the game is going to evolve and how we can help grow the game and make it the best product available."
Dangerfield said the solution to fixture congestion was to cut the length of time coaches and fitness staff had with players over the pre-season.
"Rather than [coming] back in November, you would only give clubs a six-week window of preparation," Dangerfield said.
"You talk to most [fitness] staff and they say, 'We need 10 weeks to get our players ready, or we need 12 weeks to get our players ready'.
"But if you put it as mandatory [that] you’ve got six weeks, good luck, that's what it is. Then you'd just have to adjust to it."
While Dangerfield was a fan of the AFLX concept, he was no guarantee to line up for the Cats when they travel to Adelaide for the opening day of competition on February 15. 
"I'll put my hand up to play but I don't always get the end decision in these things," he said.  
"I think it's a great concept the AFL has come up with and I think if the public give it a chance I think everyone is really going to enjoy it.
"It's the best parts of the AFL just packaged into a more free-flowing game that goes a bit quicker.
"That is something we could introduce into the season regular."

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