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Changes to 2015 fixture announced

The AFL today announced it had settled on the key dates for the construction of the fixture for the 2015 season.

It was confirmed the 2015 season would start on Thursday April 2, 2015, across the Easter period, so that the AFL had access to all key venues after the conclusion of the cricket world cup. Due to the later start to the season, the 2015 Toyota AFL Grand Final will be played on Saturday October 3.

It has also been confirmed that there would be only one bye through the 2015 season, with each club to play their 22 games across a 23-week period, a change that the Players’ Association believes is a concern for players.

Player Relations Manager, Brett Murphy said, “The key concern from the players’ perspective is to ensure the return of the second bye in 2016.  The second bye – which was specifically introduced for reasons of player health and welfare – has proved to be of enormous benefit to players and other club staff this year.

“The Players’ Association has held discussions with the AFL on the fixture for the 2015 season.

“We are conscious of the practical difficulties facing next year’s fixture given the Cricket World Cup, which has forced a later start to the season and the removal of the second bye. We are still to finalise with the AFL how these changes will impact players’ entitlement to annual leave and other breaks.”