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by Lisa Albergo reporting for AFANA from Chicago

With Greater Western Sydney and the Gold Coast coming into the competition, the AFL has slightly reformatted the NAB Cup. In 2011 there will be six three-team pools. The teams in each pool will play each in three consecutive games of 20 minute halves to determine the overall winner. Week Two will revert to the standard game length. Port Adelaide and Adelaide won't have to wait long for their first showdown, meeting in the first round. Ditto twin brothers Brad (North Melbourne) and Chris Scott (Geelong) who will face each other in the opening round. Fellow 1996 Brownlow Medallists Michael Voss and James Hird will coach their respective clubs, Brisbane and Essendon, against each other.

Gold Coast and Greater Western Sydney will play one another in Blacktown (Western Sydney). AFL Operations officer Gillon McLachlan said the two teams playing now would give Coach Kevin Sheedy and his staff time to assess their needs before the team joins the AFL in 2012.

The six winners of the first round along with the two best performed teams will advance to the second week. The other teams will then embark on the usual practice game circuit.

POOL 1: Adelaide, Melbourne, Port Adelaide (AAMI Stadium)

POOL 2: Carlton, Richmond, Collingwood (Etihad Stadium)

POOL 3: West Coast, Hawthorn, Fremantle (Patersons Stadium, formerly Subiaco Oval, WA)

POOL 4: Essendon, Brisbane Lions, St Kilda (Etihad Stadium)

POOL 5: Greater Western Sydney, Sydney Swans, Gold Coast (Olympic Park, Blacktown)

POOL 6: Geelong, North Melbourne, Western Bulldogs (Skilled Stadium)

ROUND 1: February 11-20

Quarter-Finals: February 24-27

Semi-Finals: March 4-6

Grand Final: March 11

Source: Melbourne Age

Article last changed on Friday, November 05, 2010 - 9:10 AM EDT

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