Group Nine grand final moves to twilight

Group Nine will break with tradition and play a Saturday twilight grand final.

Part of the crowd on the hill in the grand final between Southcity and Gundagai last year. The decider will be played under lights for the first time at Equex Centre.

Part of the crowd on the hill in the grand final between Southcity and Gundagai last year. The decider will be played under lights for the first time at Equex Centre.

This year’s decider will be played under lights at Equex Centre on September 9 with first grade to start at 6pm.

Group Nine president John Morton said the move had been years in the making.

With no other grand finals slated over the weekend he believes the timeline suits.

“It’s something I thought was worth trying,” Morton said.

“It is an unknown quantity but I’m sure sponsors think it is a better idea.”

The move was expected to be locked in this week, but State Of Origin has forced the next general meeting with clubs until next week.

Only one Group Nine board member voted against the change.

The shift has generally been well received by clubs.

Football manager of premiers Southcity Matt Ward doesn’t believe the move will have a big effect.

“I don’t think there will be much difference,” Ward said.

“It wouldn’t both us either way and while traditionally Sunday is the go you have to change with the times.

“If they think better crowds or be better supported then I’m all for it.”

Gundagai secretary Martin Hay was another who could see the merit in the change.

“I'm all for trying different things and you have to move with the times,” Hay said.

“Hopefully it’s a success and it’s good to see board trying things.

“By that time of the year is not too cold to have it at night.”

Morton said gate takings would determine if the change is continued.