Peter Jackson VFL fixture release
The Peter Jackson VFL 2014 fixture has been released today, with the competition returning to 16 teams for the first time in over a decade.
The competition will expand with alignments between Williamstown/Western Bulldogs and Coburg/Richmond having come to a close at the end of last season, and all four clubs fielding standalone sides next year.
Coburg will return to their traditional nickname of the Lions, while the Western Bulldogs will play under their traditional name of Footscray (Bulldogs).
Current club training venues for Richmond and Western Bulldogs will to host VFL matches, with games for competition points to be held at Victoria University Whitten Oval for the first time since 1997and ME Bank Centre (Punt Road Oval) since 1964.
Highlights of the 2014 fixture include:
- A Good Friday game between former aligned partners Bendigo Gold and Essendon
- Two games on ANZAC Day with Frankston to host Richmond, and Bendigo to play Footscray
- Four regional matches to be played in Colac, Echuca, Morwell & Swan Hill
- An increase to 10 night games in 2014, with Bendigo Gold (five games), Geelong (three) and Werribee (two) to host night matches next season.
AFL Victoria State League and Talent Manager John Hook said the increase in clubs and more feature matches will help increase coverage of the competition next year.
“It is pleasing that clubs are looking to build relationships with regional areas to help promote the game, and showcase our state league competition to a wider audience.
“Night games have proved successful for clubs to provide an alternative time for supporters and general VFL fans to attend games, and it is encouraging that there has been an increase in these games in the fixture,” Hook said.
The Peter Jackson VFL this year produced another eight draftees to the AFL, with Hook highlighting the variety of players the competition is now attracting.
“The VFL continues to develop talent and give players a second chance, with the likes of Ben Ross and Cameron Wood prime examples of how delisted players can prove themselves in the VFL competition and receive another opportunity.
“Another example is former Northern Knight Jacob Ballard who was overlooked at the end of his time in the TAC Cup competition in 2012, but was able to take advantage of AFL Victoria’s VFL Academy and develop his game at the Northern Blues this season,” Hook said.
The 2014 season will start with a split first round on March 29, with the Peter Jackson VFL Legendairy Finals Series to begin on August 30.
Each VFL club will have two byes, with the byes this year aligned where applicable to the bye of their AFL club.
There will also be a break for the majority of clubs on Saturday May 31 for representative football, with the VFL hosting the SANFL.
Richmond and Essendon will be the only clubs not to have the bye that weekend, instead featured at 2pm at ME Bank Centre prior to the Dreamtime at the G game. This game will be one of seven Richmond has fixtured prior to their AFL side playing at the MCG on the same day.
Other points to note in the fixture are:
- The Grand Final replay will be played in round three, with Geelong hosting the premiers Box Hill in a night game at Simonds Stadium.
- With Box Hill Hawks and Williamstown both in the FOXTEL Cup next year, their round 15 clash (the FOXTEL Cup Grand Final week) has been brought forward to the first round
- Coburg will go standalone and return to being the Lions as they host fellow standalone side Port Melbourne in round one.
- Former aligned sides Williamstown and Footscray, as well as Coburg and Richmond will go head to head in round two, with many former teammates set to line-up against each other
- Box Hill Hawks will unfurl its premiership flag in round three versus fellow 2013 finalist Werribee.
- Round 5 will see Sandringham return home to an extended and resurfaced Trevor Barker Beach Oval, facing Essendon
- Bendigo will head to regional Victoria, with ‘home’ games scheduled for round 8 in Swan Hill and round 11 in Echuca against North Ballarat and Northern Blues respectively.
- Collingwood and Richmond will take their round 12 game to Morwell
- Colac’s Central Reserve will host the battle of the Tigers in round 8 between Werribee and Richmond
- Highgate Recreation Reserve will once again host VFL games in 2014, with home games for Essendon (three) and Footscray (one). Footscray will also play home games (two) at Simonds Stadium.
- Round 13 will see Geelong and Footscray play a curtain raiser game at Simonds Stadium before their AFL aligned sides play a twilight game
- New Coburg coach Peter German will face his former side Williamstown in round 14.
The AFL Victoria Development League fixture has also been released. The competition features nine teams with a 20 round fixture. One of the highlights of the fixture is a double header at Mantello Holden Oval on Good Friday.
The fixture for the Peter Jackson VFL and AFL Victoria Development League can be downloaded below.