AFL RETURN OVERDUE

BIG MEN  FLY: Essendon and North Melbourne were the last teams to play an AFL practice match at the QEO in 2009. The Roos won by 17 points.

BIG MEN FLY: Essendon and North Melbourne were the last teams to play an AFL practice match at the QEO in 2009. The Roos won by 17 points.

LW: Magpie, there has been no shortage of sporting announcements made in recent months of events coming to Bendigo.

Off the top of my bald head, there's the Australian Country Cricket Championships in January; WNBL pre-season tournament in October; Melbourne City v FC Bendigo friendly next month; the Vic Bowl at the Tom Flood Sports Centre in a couple of weeks; and the Australian Cross Triathlon Championships coming in December, just to name a few.

Hopefully, soon we'll be able to add AFL pre-season game at the QEO to that list.

It has been five years since Bendigo last hosted an AFL pre-season game, but the wheels are in motion between the City of Greater Bendigo and AFL Central Victoria to finally get a game back here next year.

KA: It would be great to see Bendigo get a taste of AFL action. It has been far too long since this city got to watch some of the league's best play on its turf. 

I am sure the people of Bendigo would pack out the QEO to get a glimpse of their favourite players. 

I hope it happens as the AFL should bring the game to the people.

So much is happening in the region, it's going to be a bumper few months.  

LW: There has been a couple of million dollars spent on the QEO since the last AFL pre-season game up here between North Melbourne and Essendon back in March, 2009.

It's certainly well overdue for that investment to start reaping the rewards of big-ticket events like AFL footy back at the QEO.

An announcement isn't expected for a couple of months, but the early indicators from both the council and AFL Victoria Country is there are encouraging signs for Bendigo's chances.

Who knows... if all the cards fall the right way, maybe we could get Essendon v Collingwood.

KA: Could you imagine if my Pies come to Bendigo?

I am smiling now just thinking about having Collingwood in town. 

If my old mate Swanny was to come up and play and if I get to see Nathan Buckley, it would be great.

It sounds like everything is heading in the right direction. 

LW: That's if Bucks is still coaching next year... your Magpies were fairly ordinary against West Coast last weekend and are outside the eight.

KA: Low blow, Westy. 

So, it has been another normal week down at Bomberland has it?

Losing to the Tigers last weekend... what was that about? 

Then just your typical court case involving the golden boy James Hird and the Essendon board. 

It has been an interesting few days to say the least. 

Hird's comments about not being in charge of the football department were astounding. 

If a coach of a football club isn't in charge of a football department then who is?

LW: It has certainly taken me back to my old Legal Studies days at Rushworth P-12 College following the action inside the court this week.

But like all, the action I'd much prefer to be focussing on is on the field and the Bombers getting back on track against West Coast on Saturday.


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