BFNL 2020 season fixture set
THE McDonalds Ballarat Football Netball League has confirmed its fixture for the upcoming season, and it contains some juicy matchups.
Fans won’t have to wait long for the senior grand final rematch, as East Point host Sebastopol under lights in round one, and the ‘Burra will have to watch the ‘Roos raise their second consecutive before the game.
“East Point and Sebas had a couple of great contests through 2019 and where we can we’ll try and put the grand final replay early in the year,” said league operations manager Shane Anwyl.
“It’s going to be a blockbuster game that early in the season with great support from both clubs’ supporters.”
The A-Grade netball premiership rematch will have to wait until round five, with North Ballarat home to East Point on Saturday, 23 May.
The season gets underway on 18 April, with finals set for four weeks from 29 August and the premiership going at Mars Stadium on 19 September.
The Anzac Day round on 25 April will feature four games under lights, something that couldn’t happen without wider support for the league.
“To maximise the support the clubs can get through the gate we need to start the games later in the day,” Mr Anwyl said.
“The support from the City of Ballarat has been tremendous. They have given us all of these facilities with upgrades with lights of a suitable standard.
“It’s not just in Ballarat the Moorabool Shire and the City of Melton down at the other end of the league provides that great support as well.”
Special rounds will also return with the league lending support to causes including Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation’s ‘Love The Game Round’, Ronald McDonald House, Women In Football and Respect For Women, an Indigenous Round and the TAC’s Towards Zero campaign.
“They are five theme rounds that we have had consistently over a number of years,” Mr Anwyl said. “We look to use them to reinforce messages within the community.
“TAC have come on as great supporters and the road the road safety message is really important, particularly in regional Victoria.”
Once the initial fixture was put out for clubs at the conclusion of the 2019 season, Mr Anwyl said the league received about 90 different items of feedback and were able to accommodate 80 per cent of requests.
While there’s no official inter-league competition this year, the BNFL was still keen to play rep games.
Coordination with the Bendigo league means the two traditional rivals will be able to square off on Saturday, 2 May, with the BFNL taking on hosting duties.
“We’ve had a long history with those guys with a couple of wins the last few times we’ve met but they certainly had a few before that,” Mr Anwly said.
“Representative football is an important part of our program, so we’re very keen to keep that going.”