AFL 2021 preseason schedule released

Beaten AFL grand finalists Geelong will open the preseason series in February when they host Essendon at Kardinia Park.

After their 31-point defeat to Richmond in the decider on October 24, the Cats will be back on February 18.

With all teams having just two practice matches before the home-and-away season, it could be the first time star recruits Jeremy Cameron, Issac Smith and Shaun Higgins line-up for Geelong.

Bombers fans might also get a look at new players Jye Caldwell and Peter Wright after losing key trio Joe Daniher, Adam Saad and Orazio Fantasia.

All clubs will have a minimum seven-day break between games and the same rules for the home-and-away season will be in place.

In previous years, the preseason competition has been a way for the AFL to experiment with different rules.

Lance Franklin playing in Albury. Credit: Getty

Reigning premiers Richmond head up to Albury for their first hit-out when they face the Western Bulldogs.

Luke Beveridge’s Bulldogs shape as a contender for the Tigers’ crown after securing star midfielder Adam Treloar from Collingwood and drafting star young forward Jamarra Ugle-Hagan.

The preseason will wrap up with three games (Adelaide v Richmond, Melbourne v North Melbourne and West Coast v Fremantle) on March 7, before the home-and-away season begins 11 days later.

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