THE Outer East league says its move to hold its premier division grand final day on a Friday has already proven to be a resounding success.
And it's a change that the Heathcote District Football-Netball League is also considering for 2021.
The HDFNL has put a proposal to its clubs to play its 2021 grand final on the AFL grand final eve public holiday Friday.
Clubs have been given the next 12 months to consider the proposal, with league chairman Peter Cole saying the decision will come down to club consensus.
Outer East region general manager Aaron Bailey says its Friday grand final move, brought about by the AFL grand final eve public holiday, has quickly gone from stepping into the unknown to becoming a winner.
"Initially there was a bit of pushback on it given by playing our premier division grand final on the Friday it extends the season," Bailey said on Wednesday.
"But the two years we've been doing it we've had record crowds... and that has been with ordinary weather as well.
"Before we made the change our grand final day (what was then the Yarra Valley competition) used to compete with the Eastern league grand final, and it was also on the same day as the AFL preliminary final.
"What we were finding was with the AFL twilight preliminary final, when Richmond was playing in the prelim in 2017 we were seeing people leave our grand final to go.
"So we were impacted as much by the AFL as we were a neighbouring league and felt that by getting out on our own on the Friday public holiday was the way to go.
"We got terrific coverage in the lead-up to the day and being the last grand final of the year outside of the AFL, people are still looking for their footy fix.
"Two years in we'd say it has been very successful. And we're very keen to see just what could happen when we have a decent day given we've had rain both times we've done it."
The HDFNL grand final was this year played on Saturday, September 14, at the same time as the Bendigo league preliminary final, North Central league grand final and Maryborough-Castlemaine District league grand final.
If the grand final day for 2021 is switched to the Friday the winner of the preliminary final would be coming off a shortened six-day break.
However, Bailey says for the Outer East competition that has been no hindrance given its two Friday premiers had also both come through the preliminary final.
"For our clubs there was quite a bit of an unknown about making the change, but now that it's happened it has been really positive," Bailey said.
"For the clubs that win it they have their Friday celebrations, the AFL grand final is part of their Saturday and then the Monday is a public holiday for the tradies.
"We know there's always going to be some who won't embrace it, but the crowds we've seen through the gates so far are telling us that it has been successful. It's something we'll continue as long as the public holiday exists."
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