G’day! The AFL season is back and we’re ready to go Down Under and tell you what all the fuss is about as we start a new season in Australia.
For Aussies the ‘footy’ season is their equivalent of the Premier League. It’s the most popular sport in the country and attracts hundreds of thousands of fans week in, week out. Australians love their sport but nothing quite matches their passion for Australian Rules Football.
Originating in Victoria, Melbourne, the sport has spread across the country over the last hundred years, with teams from Western Australia, Queensland, New South Wales, South Australia, and Victoria, making up the premier competition — the Australian Football League (AFL).
With all of that in mind, let’s tell you a bit more about the game!
How does it work?
The 2020 AFL season is still going ahead despite the ongoing coronavirus epidemic with matches currently taking place behind closed doors. The campaign will run as usual from mid-March through until September, but the season will be reduced from 23 rounds to a maximum of 17, with clubs to face each other once.
The game is 18-a-side played between two teams on a gigantic oval-shaped pitch with goal posts at each end of the field.
The ball is moved around the field by a combination of kicking, handballing and running and is a physical mix of endurance and skill.
Each AFL game consists of four 20-minute periods (reduced to 16 minutes for 2020) and the umpire starts each quarter by bouncing the ball in the centre circle.
A player can score either a goal or a behind, with six points and one point awarded respectively. To score a goal, a player must kick the ball between the two middle posts, without it being ‘touched’ by another player. A behind is awarded if the ball is kicked between the inside and outside posts, hits the two taller posts, or is carried behind or handballed across the goal line by a player, between any of the posts.
The top eight teams in the table go on to play finals, before the final two remaining teams compete in the AFL Grand Final at the beginning of October.
Who are the 2020 Grand Final favourites?
Richmond Tigers are the defending champions and they will be looking to defend their AFL title crown in 2020. Richmond are pretty much unchanged from last season’s championship winning squad and got off to a winning start against Carlton in Week 1.
Four-time Premiership winners West Coast Eagles are also being widely tipped to be title contents this time out having finally added midfielder Tim Kelly from Geelong to their squad as well as welcoming star player Nic Naitanui back to full fitness.
Where can I watch it?
Footy fans can watch live Aussie Rules on BT Sport 2 with some tasty match ups to look forward to in the AFL with matches from each weekly round including all Play-Offs and Finals for the 2020 season.
The season opens on Friday morningwith a cracker between Western Bulldogs and Collingwood Magpies who are both 10/11 to win the match. A close game is expected and this one could go either way. A draw is priced at 40/1.
League challengers West Coast Eagles get their season underway at the weekend against Melbourne Demons. The Eagles are 4/11 favourites to get off to a winning start with the visitors 11/5 underdogs.
At the weekend, BT Sport will be showing Essendon Bombers v Fremantle Dockers and Greater Western Sydney Giants v Geelong Cats. Let’s play footy!
View the latest Aussie Rules odds.
All odds and markets are correct as of date of publication.