AFL teams looking for X-factor in Rocky
AFL: Teams will put their pre-season training to the test this weekend when they compete in the Capricornia AFLX Challenge.
Five men’s and two women’s teams will hit the field at Frenchville Sports Club’s Ryan Park.
The challenge kicks off at 6.30pm today, with two men’s games as well as an exhibition match from the local Suns Academy squad.
It continues from 1.30pm tomorrow, with the men’s grand final at 6.45pm.
Capricornia football operations manager Brad Matheson said the modified version of the game provided fast-paced action with plenty of open space which made for some high-scoring games.
AFLX is played on a smaller, rectangular field with only seven players per team.
Matheson said it required teams to rethink their game plans from the regular season matches, and size, speed and agility were crucial for players.
This is the second time the challenge has been played at Ryan Park, with Capricornia one of the first regions to trial AFLX in Queensland.
Matheson said it was exciting how clubs had again embraced the concept, and what this format could hold for the future.
“One of the major challenges our clubs face at this time of the year is being able to bring a full squad of 22 players plus support staff together for matches,” he said.
“Even more challenging is the costs involved for such a large group to travel away for practice matches.
“Being a modified version only requiring a smaller group of participants it allows teams to field more competitive squads and it’s more cost effective to travel.
“Neighbouring regions are already looking into the format and I think that there is potential to grow this pre-season format and look at the possibilities of cross regional matches or competitions.”