When devising and publishing the fixture over two and a half months ago, much was considered in terms of teams getting to know their teams capabilities, how long that would take and the fairness of the draw given those aspects. We also wanted to allow flexibility to enable a full Home and Away schedule, whilst knowing that the AFL was in a fluid scenario to their fixture.
Given the shortened game structure, scores were always going to be compromised this season compared to the previous seasons. What we didn't know was the compression of rounds into four day breaks and byes. However, maintaining playing each team twice before finals was deemed to be ultimately the fairest way to determine ladder positions as fixtured before the season.
Having 9 full rounds before heading into the "Festival of Fantasy" enabled teams to evaluate their teams strengths and weaknesses. Thus, determining whether they made trades to fill obvious gaps, go for the Premiership or reload for another year's tilt at the ultimate. Obviously, having playing back ups in every position is good list management.
The "Festival of Fantasy" was always going to provide swings. Ultimately, that means that no team was out of the opportunity to make finals in the inaugural year. In reality, the best teams will prevail unless hit by extraordinary circumstances.
I feel so conflicted watching my 1st contract players. I want to know that they can play and will become good SC players, however every point they add to their SC average adds more dollars to their 2nd contract price. Welcome to list management!