The fixtures for the 2019 NFNL senior men’s competitions have been released.
All three men’s divisions will commence on the same weekend, with the season beginning on Friday April 5 when Northcote Park hosts Bundoora under lights at Bill Lawry Oval.
The four remaining opening-round matches in Meadows Greyhounds Division 1, as well as all Round 1 games in A Plus Labour Solutions Division 2 and Heidelberg Golf Club Division 3 will be played on Saturday April 6.
Two premiership flags will be unfurled on the opening weekend of the season, with West Preston-Lakeside starting its premiership defence at home against Heidelberg, while Lower Plenty returns to the top flight by hosting neighbour Montmorency.
St Mary’s begins life in A Plus Labour Solutions Division 2 with a trip to Watsonia. The match at A.K. Lines Reserve will be played in the 4:10pm twilight slot. The Burra will play their first home game the following week against Thomastown.
The highlight of the opening round in Heidelberg Golf Club Division 3 is newcomer Old Eltham Collegians hosting beaten grand finalist Panton Hill at Eltham College.
Good Friday football returns to War Memorial Park, with Greensborough set to host Lower Plenty on April 19. It will be the standalone match over the Easter weekend.
Five matches will be played on ANZAC Day (Thursday April 25), which includes a twilight game at R.J. Brockwell Oval. The matches scheduled to be played on ANZAC Day are:
• Heidelberg vs Macleod at Warringal Park
• Diamond Creek vs Epping at Coventry Oval
• Thomastown vs Fitzroy Stars at Main Street Recreation Reserve
• Banyule vs St Mary’s at R.J Brockwell Oval (4:10pm start)
• Laurimar vs Mernda at Laurimar Reserve
A bye has been scheduled on Saturday May 18 in Meadows Greyhounds Division 1 and A Plus Labour Solutions Division 2 to coincide with the 2019 AFL Victoria Community Championships – where the NFNL will meet Geelong Football League for the No. 1 ranking.
Matches will continue in Heidelberg Golf Club Division 3 during the representative weekend to ensure the competition’s finals series starts one week earlier than Meadows Greyhounds Division 1 and A Plus Labour Solutions Division 2.
The venue for Eltham’s home games is yet to be confirmed as a result of facility upgrades at Eltham Central Park by Nillumbik Council. Should the ground be unavailable for use in 2019, the league will confirm an alternate venue as soon as possible.
Epping’s home matches will be played at the top oval of Epping Recreation Reserve while upgrades on the main oval are in progress. The upgrades are expected are be completed by July 1.
North Heidelberg and Macleod will again meet during the Queen’s Birthday weekend, with the Bulldogs to host this year’s encounter at Shelley Reserve on June 8.
All grand finals will again be played on Saturday, commencing with the Heidelberg Golf Club Division 3 decider on September 7.
The A Plus Labour Solutions Division 2 grand final will be played on September 14, before the season concludes with the Meadows Greyhounds Division 1 grand final on September 21 – again coinciding with the AFL’s preliminary final weekend.
Please note: Fixtures for the under-19 and ANZ Women’s competitions will be released early in 2019.
Key features to note from the 2019 NFNL senior men’s fixture include:
MEADOWS GREYHOUNDS DIVISION 1
• Round 1 played across two days, beginning with a Friday night match between Northcote Park and Bundoora at Bill Lawry Oval on April 5.
• West Preston-Lakeside and Lower Plenty to unfurl their 2018 premiership flags in Round 1. The Roosters will do so against Heidelberg, while the Bears host neighbour Montmorency.
• Montmorency coach Garry Ramsay to face former club, Macleod, in a Round 2 twilight match at Montmorency Park North Oval.
• Greensborough to host Lower Plenty at War Memorial Park on Good Friday (April 19).
• Heidelberg and Macleod to meet at Warringal Park on ANZAC Day (April 25).
• Greensborough to host its first twilight match at War Memorial Park when it plays reigning premier West Preston-Lakeside. The return match between the sides will be played on Sunday July 7, during the school holidays.
• North Heidelberg to host Macleod at Shelley Reserve on Saturday June 8 during the Queen’s Birthday weekend. It is the only NFNL match scheduled that weekend.
• There will be a wait until the grand final re-matches, with West Preston-Lakeside and Macleod not scheduled to meet until Round 13 at J.E Moore Park. The return bout at De Winton Park is booked in for the final round.
• Lower Plenty and Greensborough to contest the Long Tan Cup at Montmorency Park South Oval in Round 16.
A PLUS LABOUR SOLUTIONS DIVISION 2
• Every team to play 16 matches and have two byes over the 18-round fixture. Each club will play each opponent twice, with one match at home and one match away.
• Watsonia to host St Mary’s in a twilight fixture at A.K Lines Reserve in Round 1.
• St Mary’s to unfurl its first senior premiership flag when it hosts Thomastown at Whatmough Park in Round 2.
• Three matches to be played on ANZAC Day. Diamond Creek will host Epping, while Thomastown is at home to the Fitzroy Stars. Banyule will take on St Mary’s in a twilight match, commencing at 4:10pm.
• Fitzroy Stars to host Thomastown on July 13 during NAIDOC week, which will coincide with the NFNL’s Sir Douglas Nicholls Round.
• The venue for Eltham’s home games is yet to be confirmed as a result of facility upgrades at Eltham Central Park by Nillumbik Council. Should the ground be unavailable for use in 2019, the league will confirm an alternate venue as soon as possible.
• Epping’s home matches to be played at the top oval of Epping Recreation Reserve while upgrades on the main oval are in progress. The upgrades are expected are be completed by July 1.
HEIDELBERG GOLF CLUB DIVISION 3
• Every team to once again play 16 matches and have two byes over the 18-round fixture. Each club will play each opponent twice, with one match at home and one match away.
• Old Eltham Collegians to play its first game in the NFNL at home when it hosts Panton Hill at Eltham College in Round 1.
• Laurimar and Mernda to meet at Laurimar Reserve on ANZAC Day.
• Panton Hill scheduled to play four twilight games at A.E Cracknell Reserve. The Redbacks’ opponents for these matches will be South Morang (Round 2), Laurimar (Round 4), Heidelberg West (Round 7) and Eltham Collegians (Round 14).
• Panton Hill and South Morang to meet in a rematch of last year’s preliminary final in Round 2 and Round 13.
• Four matches scheduled during a standalone round on Saturday May 18. Meadows Greyhounds Division 1 and A Plus Labour Solutions Division 2 will have a bye during this weekend due to the AFL Victoria Community Championships.
• Finals series to again start one week earlier than Meadows Greyhounds Division 1 and A Plus Labour Solutions Division 2. The finals series will commence with the second semi final on Saturday August 24.
To download the 2019 NFNL senior men’s fixtures, which include each club’s round-by-round fixture, please click on the links below: