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AFLW grand final venue yet to be decided

AFLW boss Nicole Livingstone claims there have been no discussions about locking in a permanent grand final venue amid speculation Marvel Stadium could become the home of the women’s decider.

Since the inaugural AFLW season in 2017, the highest-ranked grand final club has been able to host the showpiece match.

Due to the success of the all-conquering Crows, there have been three grand finals played at the Adelaide Oval, with Metricon Stadium on the Gold Coast and Carlton’s Ikon Park hosting the others.

But with the women’s season shifting from summer to an August start, the league’s negotiations with cricket authorities about playing on certain grounds will become trickier.

A SEN report earlier this month stated the AFLW decider was set to be locked into being played at the indoor Docklands stadium on a long-term contract.

But speaking at the AFLW captain’s day, Livingstone said the league would continue to be flexible with the grand final venue.

“One of the unique things about AFLW is to actually award the grand final to the top finishing home-and-away club that makes it into the grand final,” she told reporters on Wednesday.

“That’s difficult for us to be able to very quickly put things in place (for a grand final) in a week’s time but for now it’s part of the uniqueness of AFLW.

“Players, clubs, they appreciate the opportunity to actually have that as a reward for their year.

“No discussions on locking it (have been held) as yet but we focus on season seven.”

The second AFLW season of 2022 will open on August 25, less than five months after the last grand final when Carlton hosted Collingwood at Ikon Park.

Last season’s beaten grand finalists Melbourne have been tipped by the league’s captains to breakthrough for their maiden women’s premiership.

Eight of the skippers believe the Demons will make it back to the grand final in what could be superstar Daisy Pearce’s final season, with just four captains tipping reigning premiers Adelaide to qualify again.

The Crows, the competition’s raging success with three premierships, were hit hard in the off-season by the entry of four new clubs.

Superstar Erin Phillips has crossed to captain Port Adelaide, the club her father Greg was a legend at in the SANFL.

Adelaide have won 35 of their 45 matches with Phillips in the team, but the Crows’ record is just three victories from seven games without the dual league best-and-fairest winner.

Port will begin their AFLW journey with an opening-round trip to play West Coast, while fellow expansion clubs Essendon and Hawthorn will battle in an eagerly-anticipated clash that has been moved from Port Melbourne to Marvel Stadium because of a high demand for tickets.

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