Blockbusters to mark Purple Haze and Len Hall games
The Fremantle Dockers kick off their 2012 season with three blockbuster games in the first five rounds, including a round one twilight clash at Patersons Stadium against reigning premiers Geelong that will celebrate the club’s 10th annual Starlight Purple Haze Game.
The other games – both under lights – include a prime time Friday night fixture, the annual Len Hall Game on 27 April at Patersons Stadium against Carlton in round five. That game is preceded by another prime time Friday night game – a round four clash with St Kilda at Etihad Stadium.
The only top eight team from 2011 that Fremantle plays twice in 2012 is West Coast – in round nine plus a round 19 home derby on Saturday 4 August. The other teams Freo plays twice in 2012 include Port Adelaide, who finished 16th, Adelaide (14th), Melbourne (13th) and Richmond (12th).
Fremantle’s two trips in the qualifying rounds to the home of football – the MCG – include games against Richmond (Rd 11) and Collingwood (Rd 14), with the club’s two other Victorian encounters for the season being at Etihad Stadium against Melbourne (Rd 16) and North Melbourne (Rd 22).
The club’s three most demanding travel games for the year are all in the first eight rounds with trips to the SCG (Sydney, Rd2), Metricon Stadium on the Gold Coast to play the Suns at their home ground for the first time in round six followed by a round eight clash with Hawthorn in Launceston at Aurora Stadium.
Fremantle chief executive officer Steve Rosich said the round one clash against the Cats at home at Patersons Stadium was a boon for members and supporters.
“What a great way to start our home and away season and celebrate the club’s 10th annual Starlight Purple Haze Game by taking on the 2011 Premiers at Patersons Stadium on a Saturday night in front of a likely sold out crowd,” Rosich said.
“We are delighted that the AFL has agreed to our request to fixture our round five match at night on Friday 27 April. This will allow us to maintain the tradition of commemorating Anzac Day with our Len Hall Game, with the added attraction of it being against a big drawing team in Carlton.”
Rosich said that overall the club was satisfied with its fixtures for 2012.
“It’s always going to be an interesting exercise for the AFL to meet the competing demands of 18 clubs but we think overall we’ve been dealt a reasonable hand with the 2012 fixtures,” he said.
“While having to play top eight teams from 2011 in four of our first five games provides its challenges, our last nine games, including five at Patersons Stadium, involve only one clash with a top eight side from 2011 in West Coast, which is also a home derby fixture.
Due to a late change in the draft fixture, Fremantle will now have five six-day breaks instead of the four six-day breaks scheduled in the draft fixture, which is one less than in the previous two seasons when the club had six 6-day breaks.