The Ultimate Guide to the AFL Finals

With seven rounds remaining, the AFL finals spots are still up for grabs.

Geelong has had a strong season and is on course for their fourth consecutive appearance at the big show. However, they’ll be hoping to avoid another premature exit. Defending champion West Coast is sitting just behind Geelong as they attempt to defend their crown and make their 5th consecutive finals appearance. The chasing pack aren’t far off the pace and just eight points separate 3rd and 9th in the ladder.

The adjustments to the rules at the start of the 2019 season were designed to “stimulate free-flowing football and more one-on-one contests”. This year’s ladder is certainly closer than ever before, with 15th placed St Kilda only eight points, and a swing of fortunes for the remaining seven games, away from squeezing into the finals.

There is still a long way to go for the clubs, however, you can plan your finals month with our guide.

When and where the finals will be held 

The schedule for the 2019 AFL Finals is as follows: 

Elimination and Qualifying Finals

5 - 7 September 2019

Semi-finals

13 and 14 September 2019

Preliminary finals

20 and 21 September 2019

AFL Grand Final

28 September 2019

Once the season is complete, the finals draw will be confirmed. The locations and participants of the matches will be finalised, as well as a precise game day schedule. TV coverage will be by Seven and Fox.

The AFL Grand Final

The AFL Grand Final and the Melbourne Cup are the two most important days in any Melburnian’s life. The celebrations begin on the 27th of September, with the state enjoying a public holiday to prepare for match day. Thousands of people will line the streets to watch the Grand Final Parade travel from the Old Treasury Building, past the CBD, and to the MCG. A must-see for visitors from around the country and the world.

Getting around Melbourne on Grand Final day

As one of the biggest dates on the Melbourne calendar, the city will be bustling with activity. Public transport is the recommended way to get to and from the MCG and there will be many transport options available. 

The MCG is located in the Melbourne and Olympic Park Sports Precinct, one of the city’s major hubs. There are two train stations servicing the stadium – Jolimont and Richmond. Several trams also stop outside the MCG including the 48, 70 and 75 routes. During major sporting events, extra train and tram services will be provided to cope with the increased traffic.

Who are the favourites this year?

As the finals approach, it is interesting to compare who is living up to pre-season expectations, who is punching above their weight and who has choked.

Pre-season odds

Ladder after 15 rounds

Richmond $5

1

Geelong

West Coast $7

2

West Coast

Collingwood $7

3

Collingwood

Melbourne $7

4

Brisbane Lions

GWS $9

5

GWS

Sydney $12

6

Richmond

Geelong $14

7

Port Adelaide

Adelaide $16

8

Adelaide

Essendon $16

9

Essendon

Port Adelaide $18

10

North Melbourne

Hawthorn $18

11

Fremantle

North Melbourne $34

12

Western Bulldogs

Western Bulldogs $34

13

Hawthorn

St Kilda $67

14

Sydney

Fremantle $67

15

St Kilda

Brisbane Lions $67

16

Melbourne

Carlton $151

17

Carlton

Gold Coast $251

18

Gold Coast

Bold are teams not in top 8

Brisbane Lions and Port Adelaide are defying their pre-season predictions, however, the finals spots are not close to decided. Despite Melbourne and Sydney struggling to live up to their billing, the top eight are mostly as expected. West Coast is again one of four teams that could win the competition, with the added incentive of retaining the premiership.

The season is shaping up for a close finish. Make sure you’re ready to go and get your AFL tickets organised fast!