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Five fixture quirks

Mark Anderson on our 2019 fixture Hear from our CEO Mark Anderson as he discusses the 2019 fixture and what's ahead for the club.

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It’s only the first day in November, but we’re already preparing for what we’ll be doing in August next year.

Yep, only the release of the AFL fixture could get us forecasting 10 months ahead.

The fixture is always full of quirks and odd spots, and Collingwood’s version for 2019 is no different. present some facts and dates to keep in mind as we prepare for the year ahead.

Hosting the Queen
Eddie McGuire was in his first year as President, Nathan Buckley his first year as captain and Tony Shaw his last year as coach when Collingwood last hosted Melbourne on the Queen’s Birthday.

That was back in 1999, when 40,031 braved the cold to watch the Demons beat the eventual wooden spooners by 11 points.

Twenty years on, the Magpies will wear the black shorts against the Dees in June once more.

The two teams didn’t meet on the Queen’s Birthday in 2000, but from 2001 until 2018, Melbourne has been the home team on each occasion.

In fact, the Pies have worn the black shorts against the Demons just six times since ’99, and have met them under lights just once since 1997 (in round 20, 2007).

Paul Williams and Guy Rigoni tangle during the last Queen's Birthday match in which Collingwood was the home team, back in 1999.

Blockbusters everywhere
After four years without finals, Collingwood was off Broadway for much of 2018, playing just three Friday night home and away matches and none after round 10.

That will all change next year, with the Magpies to run out under the Friday night lights on seven occasions in 2019.

Collingwood’s seven Friday nights in 2019
Round One v Geelong
Friday 22 March

Round Four v Western Bulldogs
Friday 12 April

Round Seven v Port Adelaide
Friday 3 May

Round 10 v Sydney
Friday 24 May

Round 16 v Hawthorn
Friday 5 July

Round 17 v West Coast
Friday 12 July

Round 19 v Richmond
Friday 26 July

Collingwood will also play two Thursday night games, against Richmond in round two and against Brisbane in round four.

A new adventure in the sunshine state
It’s not common for Collingwood to miss out on a match on the Gold Coast.

Since the Suns entered the competition in 2011, the Pies have played at Metricon Stadium in six of their eight seasons.

That won’t be the case next year, with the Magpies to host the Suns at the MCG for the first time since 2012 and instead take on Brisbane at the Gabba on the evening of Easter Thursday.

The match is set to be a cracker, given the timeslot and the opponent. The Lions are on the rise, and will meet their former captain Dayne Beams who moved back to Collingwood during the October Trade Period.

The two sides met on Easter Thursday back in 2003 and 2004.

A rare opener against the Cats
It’s been a long time since Collingwood began its season against Geelong.

You have to wind the clock back to 1982 to recall the last time the stripes met the hoops in the season opener.

On that occasion, it was all one-way traffic out at Waverley Park as Geelong stormed to an 88-point win. The Cats had an extraordinary 41 scoring shots to Collingwood’s 23, and even the Macedonian Marvel himself, Peter Daicos, found goals hard to come by, kicking two majors and five behinds.

Let’s hope for a different result this time around.

It’s also worth noting Collingwood will open its AFL Women’s season with a match against Geelong on Saturday 2 February. Some nice Magpie symmetry to begin 2019.

A happy hunting ground
Speaking of the Macedonian Marvel, some Magpie fans will be forgiven for thinking Marvel Stadium has been named after Daics himself.

The Docklands venue will host Collingwood for the first time since its rebrand on a Friday night when it meets Port Adelaide in round six.

It’s a venue at which the Magpies have never lost to the Power from four starts, though the two sides haven’t met there since 2012.