Saints on the road for first two 2019 rounds

Benalla Ensign - - Motorsport -

The of­fi­cial 2019 GOTAFE Goul­burn Val­ley League fix­ture has been re­leased, with Be­nalla head­ing to Euroa for round one.

The fix­ture does not de­liver the Saints their first home game of the sea­son un­til round three — for a Good Fri­day clash against Sey­mour — with more Good Fri­day games to be played be­tween Shep­par­ton and Shep­par­ton United.

The league has re­ported it was also plan­ning to show­case six night games in the first four rounds, how­ever, as it stands Be­nalla will only be hit­ting the ground for day matches.

The Saints will meet Mans­field for the first time since the 2018 fi­nals in round four for an Anzac week­end match, while Shep­par­ton United and Mooroopna will play the game on Anzac Day — which this year falls on a Thurs­day.

Gen­eral byes are sched­uled on May 18 (for the AFL Com­mu­nity Cham­pi­onships) and again on July 13 — for the an­nual Vic Coun­try clash, which this year is against the VAFA, while the split round falls in round 16.

GOTAFE GVL chair­man David Roff said while it was one of the hard­est jobs of each sea­son he was once again pleased with the fi­nal fix­ture and the way clubs have been able to ne­go­ti­ate the sched­ul­ing.

‘‘The ne­go­ti­ated changes to the 2019 fix­ture have re­sulted in a healthy bal­ance for ev­ery club we be­lieve, with six night games in the first four rounds to take ad­van­tage of the pleas­ant au­tumn evenings,’’ Roff said.

‘‘The two Good Fri­day games we have sched­uled for the new sea­son should make for an ex­cit­ing spread of foot­ball and net­ball right across the Easter week­end.

‘‘For the 2019 sea­son we found that the ma­jor fo­cus for our clubs was the re­quest for more ri­valry rounds dur­ing the year, which will be ben­e­fi­cial for gates and ex­cit­ing for foot­ball and net­ball games across our league.’’

Round one kicks off on April 6.

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