‘Two cities, one team’.
That’s the message from Sydney Swans General Manager – Melbourne Jonathon Monasso after the announcement of the 2020 regular-season fixture, released on Thursday.
Monasso is thrilled the draw is a win for the club’s Melbourne-based supporters, with the Swans set to play six games in their native state in season 2020, a jump from the five matches in 2019.
“The club is very proud of its ‘two cities, one team’ mantra. We have great respect for the history of our club and are well aware that the great work of the Bloods in South Melbourne has paved the way for our great club of today,” Monasso said.
“The 2020 fixture is really exciting for our Victorian fans. We are thrilled to have six big games in Melbourne against some really strong opponents. While we will have to wait a little while for our first taste of action in Melbourne, I’m sure that first clash with Hawthorn at the MCG in Round 9 will be well worth the wait.”
Sydney will face Hawthorn (Round 9), Richmond (Round 11), St Kilda (Round 15), Carlton (Round 17), Melbourne (Round 20) and Essendon (Round 22) in Melbourne next year.
Three of those games will be played at the MCG, up from the two matches in 2019, with Marvel Stadium scheduled to host the remaining three.
The Swans cruised to a 53-point victory over the Demons when they last visited the MCG in Round 22 this year, which saw young Sydney speedster James Bell boot his first AFL goal and celebrate with an inspired Indigenous dance.
Monasso says it’s a great result to be scheduled for three games at the Grand Final venue in 2020.
“The MCG is the home of footy and I know fans love attending games at the ‘G as much as our players enjoy it,” Monasso said.
“There have been many memorable Swans moments played out on the MCG in recent times and I’m sure we will see new ones created in 2020. I know our players and coaches love the exposure to the MCG throughout the year, so to have three games fixtured there in 2020 is a really great opportunity. Hopefully, we are back on the ‘G at the very pointy end of the season.”
Monasso had high praise for the club’s Melbourne-based fans.
“Thanks to the passion of our Melbourne supporters, our away games can feel like home games,” Monasso said.
“There is always great support when we play in Melbourne, with plenty of red and white in the stands along with families and friends of many of our players.
“We are always seeking to improve the experience for our members, and I have no doubt 2020 shapes as an exciting year both on and off the field for our Melbourne-based fans.”
Season 2020 will see the Swans travel to every state in Australia, with Sydney set to head to Hobart for a pre-season match, open its premiership campaign in Adelaide, play on the Gold Coast in Round 3, visit Brisbane in Round 6 and fly to Perth for Round 8.
Melbourne and interstate membership will be available for purchase soon.