Main content

Harford not fazed by fixture

Harford reacts to AFLW fixture AFLW Senior Coach Daniel Harford dissects the 2019 AFLW fixture for the Blues.

IT'S been a busy week for Carlton’s AFLW senior coach Daniel Harford.

After welcoming seven new draftees to the Club on Tuesday and one free agent on Wednesday, Harford now knows the details of his first AFLW fixture.

Speaking to Carlton Media on Friday, the senior coach said while he’s happy to have clarity around the fixture, he’s striving to build a team that can play anywhere, anytime.

“It’s nice to have some clarity about what our season looks like, but in all honesty, I’m not overly fussed by what the fixture says. We’ve got to play teams anywhere, anytime and we’ll be that kind of side as we build our brand for 2019,” Harford said.

As announced by the AFL on Friday morning, Carlton will play three games at Ikon Park – the home of women’s football – as well as two interstate games against North Melbourne and GWS, while also travelling to Geelong to face the Cats and Whitten Oval to take on the Dogs.

Carlton’s match against newcomer North in Round 1 will mark the first AFLW game to be played in Tasmania – another historic moment for the Club’s women’s team.

“We’re really excited to play in Hobart for the first time in AFLW history, so we’ll be history makers again which I’m really pleased about,” Harford said.

“That game will be really interesting. North are a brand-new club and they’ll be putting 22 players out there for the first time.

“We’ll have a few new players out there but we’ll have an advantage because most of our team would have played together, so that’s a great opportunity for us.

“Also, seeing our Carlton supporters across the country is always fun, so I’m sure the Tassie fans will be out in force to see their girls in action.”

Visit Carlton's AFL Women's hub for more content

After playing in the season-opener against Collingwood for the past two years, Harford said he understood the AFL’s reasoning behind moving the game to Geelong.

“I think not getting the game at Ikon Park is a reflection of our performance last season and that’s the reality of the competition, but it’s also a reflection on what’s happening here at the stadium,” Harford said.

“We’ve been given access to state-government funding and are working with the federal government too to seek support to upgrade our facilities, making sure Ikon Park remains the home of women’s footy.

“We know the lighting was a bit of an issue last season and we’re looking to rectify that as soon as possible, so we need to upgrade the facilities to make sure we have access to these blockbuster games in the AFLW.”

Rounding out the home-and-away season against the Western Bulldogs in Round 7, Harford said he was proud the Club would once again take part in the league’s Pride Game.

The Blues and Bulldogs battled it out in the inaugural Pride Game last year in front of a packed crowd at Whitten Oval. Both teams wore specially designed jumpers featuring colours of the rainbow to mark the occasion and ran through a joint banner to signify the important meaning behind the match.

“The Bulldogs game in Round 7 is going to be fantastic again. The Pride Game was a phenomenal success last year. The girls really enjoyed the build-up to that game and the contest itself,” Harford said.

“Although the contest didn’t go our way in the end, we’ll look to rectify that next year. It does mean a lot to the community and the AFLW community and we’ll definitely be paying it the respect it deserves in the contest.”

As the countdown to Round 1 now gets underway, the players will start pre-season on Wednesday 14 November.

Click here to view Carlton's 2019 AFLW fixture and sync to your calendar