Saints on the road for first two 2019 rounds
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.