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Good Friday blockbuster

Good Friday is set for a capacity crowd with North Melbourne fixtured to play Essendon 

The Bombers will be the third club to be trialled in the timeslot after the Dogs and Saints were drawn in 2017 and 2018 respectively. 

The game will be played at 4.20pm on Good Friday at Marvel Stadium, followed by West Coast against Port Adelaide at 8.10pm at Optus Oval (Melbourne time).

North retains the blockbuster slot after campaigning for more than two decades, and this year it falls in Round 5. 

“We’ve been passionate about this game for many years and firmly believe that today’s announcement will result in a capacity crowd,” North managing director and CEO Carl Dilena said.

“The Bombers are a fantastic result and like us, they just missed out on finals last year. We had a shoot out against them last time we played and it all points to another entertaining game on Good Friday.”

Dilena said North will waste no time working with Essendon to ensure the focus is on the kids at the Royal Children’s Hospital and the traditional Good Friday Appeal.

“The past two occasions we’ve been able to strike and maintain a healthy balance and perspective with the sick children and their families very much at the forefront of the day,” Dilena said.

“Football takes a back seat until the ball is bounced, and this game is called Kick for the Kids for a reason; we’ll never lose sight of that. 

“We have formed an incredible relationship with the Royal Children’s Hospital and Appeal organisers and will continue to really enhance the messaging and publicity so that we can help break another fundraising record.”

Dilena warned supporters to buy tickets as early as possible to avoid missing out.

“In 2017 when we played the Bulldogs, we had a crowd of 43,000 people. I think we can safely assume that we’ll be able to break that mark given the expectations of both teams heading into 2019,” Dilena said. 

Essendon CEO Xavier Campbell said his club is determined to pack Marvel Stadium.

“We feel a great sense of privilege to face North Melbourne for the Good Friday game in that twilight timeslot at Marvel Stadium,” Campbell told the Herald Sun.

“As clubs representing the north-west corridor of Melbourne, it is our shared responsibility to generate important awareness and funds for the Good Friday Appeal and we look forward to working closely with North Melbourne in the lead up to the match to do so.”

The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of the AFL or its clubs