Lions roar over Gabba pitch fail for Women’s AFL grand final

Brisbane Lions chief Greg Swann admits he’s a bit anxious about whether the Gabba will be ready for the Lions second round clash against Essendon, after the Women’s final was bumped to the Gold Coast.

The Gold Coast is smiling but management of the ground has taken a lashing from other Lions heavyweights as well as the AFL over the Women’s grand final mess.

On Monday the AFL moved the inaugural decider between Brisbane and Adelaide, to Metricon Stadium, the home of the Gold Coast Suns after the Gabba surface failed to come up to scratch after the Adele concert.


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Curator Kevin Mitchell decided to lay new turf to get the ground ready for the Ashes Test in November.

As far as Brown’s concerned the Gabba has never giver the AFL the respect it deserves.

“The AFL are second-rate citizens in Brisbane, especially when it comes to the Gabba, it’s all about the cricket” Brown told Fox Footy.

“Fair dinkum, for the government heavyweights not to be able to step in in this situation … it’s like Kevin Mitchell is the be-all and end-all there.

“It’s an absolute disgrace.

“We’re trying to grow AFL in Queensland still and for it not to be at the Gabba is really disappointing.”

Lions chief executive Greg Swann has expressed his dismay over the decision to re-sow part of the wicket area, which he fears has put the Lions-Essendon match on April 1 in doubt.

AFL chief executive Gillon McLachlan is also furious over the debacle but said he’s been assured the Lions-Bombers match will go ahead.

He shied away from accusing Gabba staff of sabotage telling Fox it came down to them not making the Women’s grand final a priority.

“It’s very disappointing … I think it was prioritisation, I mean you can get a ground ready in three weeks.”

Nevertheless he’s confident Saturday’s game on the Gold Coast will be a great success.

“It will be a good crowd, we were very aggressive with the state government and I’ve been thrilled with their engagement on this from the Premier down,” he said.

Tony Bartlett joined Hot Tomato as News Director in January, 2016. He has held the role of News Director with some of Australia’s leading broadcasters and was AAP’s Broadcast Editor based in Sydney and AAP’s Brisbane Chief of Staff. Prior to AAP he spent many years as a News Director on the Gold Coast and was previously News Director of 2CA/FM 104.7 Canberra and 2MMM Sydney and he’s also worked for 4SB, 4MB, 7BU, 7LA, 2WL, 2SM, 4IP, and 3XY.

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