Garry Lyon says the long-rumoured wildcard weekend is set to be implemented in the AFL as soon as the 2019 season.
After attending Fox Footy’s season launch yesterday, Lyon says that he has learned information regarding the future of the game’s finals format, with a wildcard round in the bye week before the finals series planned to be introduced next year.
“The wildcard weekend, I think it is coming in,” the former Melbourne skipper told SEN Breakfast.
“I think the wildcard weekend will be introduced next year.”
The wildcard round, inspired by the first week of the NFL’s playoff system, would see the teams finishing between seventh and tenth during the home and away season face off against each other, with seventh to play tenth and eighth to play ninth.
The winners of each match would then take on the fifth and sixth place side in elimination finals the following week.
This would allow the team finishing in tenth place on the ladder a chance to win the premiership should they win five matches in a row, with the AFL’s belief the system would keep up interest in the season far later in to the year than what it is currently.
“Team 10, they would take that every day of the week if they get an opportunity to knock over team number 7 and get their way in to the finals,” said Lyon.
The Melbourne champion also heard word that a twilight Grand Final is “inevitable” last night, but is not sure just how far in to the future the change will happen.
Listen to the best of today's SEN Breakfast with Garry Lyon and Tim Watson below: