2015 VFL fixture release
The Grand Final replay between Footscray and Box Hill Hawks headlines the opening round of the 2015 Peter Jackson VFL season, with the fixture released today.
The VFL season will kick off on Friday April 17 under lights at Avalon Airport Oval between Werribee and Geelong, with Footscray to unveil its 2014 premiership flag on the Saturday at VU Whitten Oval under new coach Ash Hansen.
The VFL fixture features 15 clubs, with each side to play 18 games and have two byes across a 20 round season.
Grand Final day will not be the only time VFL action heads to Etihad Stadium in 2015, with the Northern Blues to face North Ballarat (Round 5) and Frankston (Round 11) in AFL curtain raiser games.
Night football will again be a feature of the VFL season with four games fixtured to be played under lights – two of these at Bendigo’s Queen Elizabeth Oval.
Frankston, Werribee and Port Melbourne will all host ANZAC Day matches in Round 2, while the Round 8 Coburg versus Northern Blues clash will be the first Queens Birthday VFL game since 2009.
There will be no break for state football in 2015, with the VFL having a bye in the interstate fixture.
AFL Victoria General Manager Steven Reaper said the VFL competition enjoyed renewed interest in 2014, which the league will look to build on next year.
“We are looking forward to an exciting year of Peter Jackson VFL action in 2015, coming off the back of the biggest VFA/VFL Grand Final crowd since 1978 and our new broadcast partnership with Channel 7.
“With a commercial network broadcasting matches next season the competition and its clubs will receive added exposure, with the high standard of football at this level to be showcased on a weekly basis,” Reaper said.
“A number of clubs have again been willing to entertain alternative fixtures, and it is pleasing to see Northern Blues work with AFL aligned partner Carlton to reintroduce AFL curtain raiser games which will provide further exposure for the VFL competition.
“The continued fixturing of night games provides clubs with an opportunity to capture a different audience to the usual afternoon matches, and the return of a VFL presence on the Queen’s Birthday Monday is sure to attract a large crowd on the public holiday.”
- CLICK HERE for a club by club look at the fixture
The two games at Bendigo’s Queen Elizabeth Oval will ensure the VFL will continue to have a presence in the region despite the loss of Bendigo Gold, as Geelong and Collingwood head to Bendigo in Round 4, and Essendon and Footscray are set to clash in Round 19.
“We believed it was important to continue to have VFL games played in Bendigo so exposure to the competition is not lost to the region,” Reaper said.
“We must thank AFL Central Commission and the AFL standalone clubs for working with AFL Victoria to achieve having the two games played under lights at Queen Elizabeth Oval, providing fans of the game a taste of state league action during the year.”
The recent NAB AFL Rookie Draft provide four VFL players – Adam Saad (Coburg), Nic Newman (Frankston), Tyrone Downie (Bendigo) and Kane Lambert (Williamstown) - with a chance at playing football at the highest level, as the VFL again highlighted the opportunities it provides in Victoria’s talent pathway.
“The VFL continues to provide a genuine pathway for players to develop their skills, and keep alive the dream of playing AFL.
“The four players rookie listed by AFL clubs in early December each have a unique story of perseverance and commitment to play football at the highest level,” Reaper said.
“We look forward to seeing the next crop of potential draftees and developing AFL listed players take to the field in 2015.”
Joining them will be an unprecedented number of delisted AFL players who will be part of the competition next year, with the early club signings including Mitch Brown, Clint Jones, Trent Denis Lane (Sandringham), Orren Stephenson (North Ballarat), Jordan Schroder, James Polkinghorne, Kyle Hardingham (Essendon), Jordan Lisle, Dylan Van Unen, Leigh Osborne, Patrick Wearden (Port Melbourne), Jaryd Cachia (Richmond), Jackson Sheringham (Geelong), Shannon Byrnes (Casey Scorpions), Cadeyn Williams (Box Hill Hawks), Jeremy Taylor (Collingwood), Sam Dunnell and Taylor Hine (Williamstown), along with a host of graduating players from AFL Victoria’s TAC Cup competition.
“The large number of delisted AFL players that are remaining in the competition next year proves VFL clubs are providing professional environments and opportunities both on and off the field that these players want to be a part of,” Reaper said.
“These players want to play at the highest level possible, and are also taking up opportunities provided in coaching at these clubs to further develop their skills if an AFL chance does not arise again.”
The VFL will remain an affordable option for football fans and families in 2015, with entry prices remaining the same with adults $10, concession $5 and kids under 15 free.
“The VFL remains a great day out where you listen to the likes of Gary Ayres, Gerard FitzGerald, Paul Hudson and Andy Collins at the quarter time huddles instruct their teams, take the kids for a kick of the football on the ground during the breaks, and see great a mix of AFL and developing VFL talent play a high standard of football,” Reaper said.
The VFL Legendairy Finals Series will kick off on Saturday September 5, with the Grand Final on Sunday September 27.
The first month of broadcast games on Channel 7 will be announced in the New Year, with dates and starting times subject to change to accommodate the telecast matches.
The AFL Victoria Development League fixture has also been released, featuring nine teams with a 20 round fixture.
The fixture for the Peter Jackson VFL and AFL Victoria Development League can be downloaded below.