West Coast may have missed out on hosting the round 18 clash against North Melbourne, but they’ve gone back to the AFL with a new request.
According to SEN’s Sam Edmund, the Eagles have lobbied the AFL to have their match played first in the final round of the 2020 season.
“West Coast has lobbied the AFL to let them open this floating round 18 in a bid to best prepare for a likely home final,” Edmund said.
“The Eagles will play North Melbourne in what still remains this final unconfirmed match of the season.
“They want to play this match as early as possible, most likely that would be Thursday September 17, so they can get back to Perth quickly and prepare for what would be a home final at Optus Stadium.”
The AFL is set to announce the final round details on Wednesday.
The Eagles are currently in fifth, just half a game outside the top four and the crucial double chance.
They sit one win behind second-placed Geelong and third-placed Brisbane with two games remaining.
If they remain in fifth, West Coast would earn the right to host an elimination final at Optus Stadium.
“The West Australian club, they’ve been active when it comes to the North Melbourne game,” Edmund said.
“They tried and failed to buy the rights to host it and do so in Perth, but this round 18 fixture request is its latest attempt to best prepare for the finals series.”
Should West Coast jump into the four, the Eagles would not return to Perth and instead remain in Queensland to play out the finals series, given they are unlikely to host a preliminary final – should they qualify.
According to Edmund, North Melbourne are also keen to get the game played given they are out of the finals race and want to get home to their families in lockdown in Melbourne.
“The earlier (North) can end this season, the better,” Edmund said.