2017 NFL Senior Fixtures
THE Northern Football League has released its senior fixtures for the 2017 home and away season.
The first ball will be bounced on Saturday April 1 with a standalone Meadows Greyhounds Division 1 match between West Preston-Lakeside and Heidelberg, as well as the opening round in Heidelberg Golf Club Division 3.
Laurimar’s first match in the senior competition will be played against Kilmore at Laurimar Reserve, while Reservoir will mark its return from a one-year recess with a home match against Banyule.
Heidelberg West takes on Mernda at Heidelberg Park, while 2016 runner-up Epping travels to Whatmough Park to play St Mary’s. South Morang will have a bye in the opening round.
The opening round in the top flight will be played over four days.
West Preston-Lakeside and Heidelberg have been approved a fixture change, enabling the sides to meet in a blockbuster at J.E Moore Park on Saturday April 1.
Six days later Northcote Park and West Preston-Lakeside clash under lights at Bill Lawry Oval.
The following day both Heidelberg and Hurstbridge will unfurl their 2016 premiership flags.
The Tigers host Bundoora at Warringal Park, while the Bridges’ first Division 1 game in over a decade will be against Macleod. Whittlesea will host Montmorency on the same afternoon.
The opening round concludes six days later when Greensborough hosts Eltham on Good Friday. The Boro hold a 3-0 record over the Panthers since the clubs began the annual blockbuster match in 2014.
Having requested to play two matches in the opening round, both Heidelberg and West Preston-Lakeside will have a bye in Round 15.
All four Round 1 matches in A Plus Labour Solutions Division 2 will be played on Saturday April 8.
Brent Harvey’s first game for North Heidelberg will be played at Shelley Park, with the Bulldogs set to host 2016 preliminary finalist Diamond Creek.
Watsonia will unfurl its premiership flag against Panton Hill; Lower Plenty makes its return to second division with a home game against Fitzroy Stars; while Lalor and Thomastown meet in a local derby at Lalor Reserve.
All competitions will have a bye on Saturday May 13 when the NFL takes on the Western Region Football League in the 2017 WorkSafe AFL Victoria Community Championships.
No matches have been scheduled over the Queen’s Birthday weekend, with no further breaks in the season after the weekend of June 10.
All grand finals will again be played on Saturdays, beginning with the Heidelberg Golf Club Division 3 decider on September 9.
The A Plus Labour Solutions Division 2 grand final will be played on September 16, before the season concludes with the Meadows Greyhounds Division 1 grand final on September 23 – coinciding with the AFL’s preliminary final weekend.
Key features of the 2017 Northern Football League season include:
MEADOWS GREYHOUNDS DIVISION 1
• Round 1 played across four days, commencing with a standalone match on Saturday April 1 between West Preston-Lakeside and Heidelberg.
• Northcote Park to host West Preston-Lakeside under lights at Bill Lawry Oval on Friday April 7.
• Heidelberg to unfurl its premiership flag on Saturday April 8 against Bundoora. Hurstbridge will also unfurl its Division 2 premiership flag the same day when it hosts Macleod.
• Greensborough to host Eltham in the fourth Good Friday clash between the two sides. Next year’s match is scheduled for Friday April 14.
• Montmorency to play its first two home matches in the 4:10pm twilight timeslot. The Magpies host Eltham in Round 2 and Bundoora in Round 4.
• Grand final replays between Heidelberg and Macleod in Round 2 at Warringal Park and Round 7 at De Winton Park.
• Bundoora to host Montmorency at Yulong Reserve on Sunday August 6 during Round 15.
A PLUS LABOUR SOLUTIONS DIVISION 2
• Brent Harvey to make his North Heidelberg debut at Shelley Park when the Bulldogs host Diamond Creek in Round 1 on Saturday April 8.
• Watsonia to unfurl its premiership flag against Panton Hill in Round 1. The match will be the first between the two clubs since the famous 2013 Division 3 grand final, which the Redbacks won by one point.
• Diamond Creek to host Lalor on ANZAC Day. The Round 2 match will be played on a Tuesday.
• Panton Hill to play two of its first three home games in the twilight timeslot. The Redbacks will host Lower Plenty in Round 2 and Diamond Creek in Round 5.
• Fitzroy Stars to host Thomastown on Saturday July 8 during NAIDOC Week. The fixture will coincide with the league’s Indigenous Round.
• Lower Plenty to host Watsonia for the Long Tan Cup in Round 16.
HEIDELBERG GOLF CLUB DIVISION 3
• Standalone opening round on Saturday April 1, featuring Laurimar’s first NFL senior match and Reservoir’s return following a one-year recess.
• 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.
• Three competition breaks throughout the season, with no matches scheduled on April 15 (Easter weekend), May 13 (AFL Victoria Community Championships) and June 10 (Queen’s Birthday weekend).
• Epping and Reservoir to meet in a replay of the 2015 Division 3 grand final in Round 10 at Crispe Park. The return match will be played at Epping Recreation Reserve in Round 16.
• Finals series to again start one week before the Meadows Greyhounds Division 1 and A Plus Labour Solutions Division 2 finals. The finals series will commence with the second semi final on Saturday August 26.
To download the 2017 NFL fixtures, which include each club’s round-by-round fixture, please click on the links below: