The 2020 fixtures for all NFNL senior men’s football competitions have been released.
Season 2020 will feature a new competition structure.
Meadows Greyhounds Division 1 and A Plus Labour Solutions Division 2 will both feature 10 teams, which will see A Plus Labour Solutions Division 2 move to a top-five finals series. Eight teams will compete in Heidelberg Golf Club Division 3.
With even team numbers in each of the three senior men’s football competitions, every club will play 18 home and away games in season 2020.
All three men’s divisions will commence on the same weekend, with the 2020 season to begin with a clash between Northcote Park and Montmorency under lights at Bill Lawry Oval on Friday April 3.
The remaining opening-round matches in Meadows Greyhounds Division 1 and all Round 1 games in A Plus Labour Solutions Division 2 and Heidelberg Golf Club Division 3 will be played on Saturday April 4.
All three 2019 senior premiers will unfurl their flag on the opening weekend of the season.
West Preston-Lakeside will start its premiership defence at J.E. Moore Park against Bundoora, Whittlesea makes its return to the top-flight at home against Greensborough, while Panton Hill hosts Diamond Creek in a twilight clash at A.E. Cracknell Reserve.
For the first time, two matches will be played on Good Friday – with both games scheduled in A Plus Labour Solutions Division 2. Eltham will host St Mary’s at Eltham Central Park from 2:10pm, while Epping is home to Thomastown in a twilight game starting at 4:10pm.
The Good Friday matches will be played on Friday April 10 and have been scheduled as part of an elongated Round 1. All four teams who play on Good Friday will also play opening round matches on Saturday April 4 – meaning all four teams will have a bye later in the season.
Round 3 across all senior men’s football competitions will commemorate ANZAC Round, with 14 matches scheduled on ANZAC Day, which falls on Saturday in 2020.
Macleod and North Heidelberg will again meet during the Queen’s Birthday weekend, with the Roos to host this year’s encounter at De Winton Park on Saturday June 6.
A split round has been included in Meadows Greyhounds Division 1 due to the AFL Victoria Community Championships not being held in 2020.
The split round will take place in Round 15 (Saturday July 25 and Saturday August 1), providing respite for clubs in the top-flight during the long stretch between the Queen’s Birthday weekend and finals.
The finals series for A Plus Labour Solutions Division 2 and Heidelberg Golf Club Division 3 will commence on the weekend of August 22-23, a week prior to the start of the Meadows Greyhounds Division 1 finals.
All grand finals will again be played on Saturday, commencing with the Heidelberg Golf Club Division 3 decider on September 5.
The A Plus Labour Solutions Division 2 grand final will be played on September 12, before the season concludes with the Meadows Greyhounds Division 1 grand final on September 19 – again coinciding with the AFL’s preliminary final weekend.
Please note: Fixtures for all under-19 and women’s competitions will be released early in 2020 once team numbers have been confirmed.
Key features to note from the 2020 NFNL senior men’s football fixture include:
MEADOWS GREYHOUNDS DIVISION 1
• Round 1 played across two days, beginning with a Friday night match between Northcote Park and Montmorency at Bill Lawry Oval on April 3.
• West Preston-Lakeside and Whittlesea to unfurl their 2019 premiership flags in Round 1. The Roosters will do so against Bundoora at J.E. Moore Park, while the Eagles host 2018 runner-up Greensborough at Whittlesea Showgrounds.
• Twilight match between Northcote Park and North Heidelberg in Round 2. The first bounce will take place at 4:10pm.
• Five matches on ANZAC Day. Bundoora, Heidelberg, Hurstbridge, Montmorency and North Heidelberg will play host to the games played on April 25.
• Montmorency to host Macleod in a twilight match at Montmorency Park North Oval in Round 5. The first bounce will take place at 4:10pm.
• Greensborough to host West Preston-Lakeside in the first grand final rematch of the season at Greensborough War Memorial Park in Round 8. The return bout at J.E. Moore Park will be held in Round 18.
• Macleod to host North Heidelberg at De Winton Park on Saturday June 6 during the Queen’s Birthday weekend. It is the only NFNL match scheduled over the long weekend.
• Round 15 to be split over two weekends. Four matches will be played on Saturday July 25, with the remaining match, the derby between North Heidelberg and Heidelberg, to be played on Saturday August 1.
A PLUS LABOUR SOLUTIONS DIVISION 2
• With the competition expanded to 10 teams in 2020, five matches will be played each round. The fixture will replicate first division, with each club to play every opponent twice – once at home and once away.
• Panton Hill to unfurl its 2019 premiership flag in Round 1. The Redbacks host Diamond Creek at A.E. Cracknell Reserve in a twilight match commencing at 4:10pm.
• Two twilight matches scheduled in Round 2, with Banyule to host Lower Plenty and Watsonia at home against Panton Hill. Both twilight games will commence at 4:10pm.
• Two matches to be played on Good Friday. Eltham will host St Mary’s at Eltham Central Park at 2:10pm, while Epping hosts a twilight game against Thomastown starting at 4:10pm.
• Five matches on ANZAC Day. Eltham, Epping, Thomastown, Watsonia and Panton Hill will play host to the games played on April 25.
• Among the games fixtured on ANZAC Day are replays of the 2018 Division 2 grand final between Eltham and Lower Plenty and the 2018 Division 3 grand final between Panton Hill and St Mary’s, which will be a twilight game at A.E. Cracknell Reserve.
• Twilight match between Eltham and Banyule in Round 4. The first bounce will take place at 4:10pm.
• Fitzroy Stars and Thomastown to compete for the NAIDOC Cup in their July 11 clash at Sir Douglas Nicholls Oval. The match will be held during NAIDOC week, which coincides with the NFNL’s Sir Douglas Nicholls Round.
• Finals to commence on the weekend of August 22-23. This is one week earlier than recent years due to the introduction of a top-five finals series.
HEIDELBERG GOLF CLUB DIVISION 3
• Every team to play 18 matches. Each club will play four opponents three times and the other three opponents two times.
• No bye scheduled in 2020 due to the competition returning to an even number of teams.
• Four matches on ANZAC Day. Heidelberg West, Lalor, Mernda and Reservoir will play host to the games played on April 25.
• Laurimar and South Morang to meet in a rematch of last year’s preliminary final in Round 7 at Laurimar Reserve. The sides will also play each other in Round 12 and Round 16.
• Finals series to again start one week earlier than Meadows Greyhounds Division 1. The finals series will commence with the second semi final on Saturday August 22.
View the 2020 NFNL senior men’s fixtures at www.nfnl.org.au/nfnl-football-fixture-results-ladders or click the links below, which include each club’s round-by-round fixture: