All Clubs are required to travel interstate at least five times . Collingwood , Hawthorn and Geelong , the top three finishers in 2011 have big games scheduled. The Â AFL hopes these games can draw large crowds , Â will provide great entertainment , and Â help to consolidate these teams , Â and footy’s popularity .
Geelong unfurls its premiership flag in round 4 , and the Saints face Freo in their first game since the coach poaching saga Â .The Blues play six games on Friday night , and North MelbourneÂ Â make the most interstate trips with Games scheduled in Hobart .
Queensland Clubs , the Lions and Suns , play the most games in the Saturday afternoon twilight timeslot , and the Cats and Magpies meet twice in GF replays in rounds 8 & 16 .
Big Games will continue with the Â Magpies playing the Bombers on Anzac Day, Freo versus Carlton in the annual Len Hall Tribute Match ,Â Demons tackling the Magpies on Queen’s Birthday Monday, Essendon and Richmond clashing in the ‘Dreamtime at the ‘G‘ match in round eight, and St Kilda hosting Carlton on a Monday night match.
Interstate teams will continue to play each other in theÂ two ‘Derbies’ between Fremantle and West Coast, two ‘Showdowns’ between Adelaide and Port Adelaide, two Brisbane Lions- Gold Coast ‘Q-Clashes’ and, for the first time, two all-Sydney clashes between the Giants and Swans.