THE Wimmera Football League and Wimmera Netball Association fixtures for 2019 have been released following the league’s general meeting on Tuesday night.
The season will start on April 13 with the Southern Mallee Giants taking on Stawell at Beulah, Minyip-Murtoa playing the Saints at twilight at Murtoa, Nhill taking on Dimboola and Ararat taking on the Warrack Eagles. Horsham starts the season with a bye.
Stawell and Ararat will play their annual Good Friday clash at Stawell in between rounds one and two.
Horsham Demons and the Saints will play a marquee Anzac Day game in round two, with the annual Indigenous Round in round five, next year aligning with the AFL.
Horsham Demons and the Southern Mallee Giants will play a grand final rematch in round three at Hopetoun.
The Saints play one game at home in the first five rounds after a request to the league in order to allow the new surface at Coughlin Park the best chance to grow.
At the meeting, Trevor Albrecht was confirmed to continue in the role as chief commissioner of the Wimmera Football League for 2019.
Nhill Tigers are running the executive of the Wimmera Netball Association, with Amanda Cole the president of the association.
The Wimmera Netball Association remains in discussions regarding a potential merger of the two leagues, with a working party looking at how the merger could take place. No timeline has been set as of yet.
Mr Albrecht said season 2018 was a huge success and was looking forward to next year.
“It was part of our strategic plan to have one or two clubs enter the league and having the Southern Mallee Giants come in this year, even though the process was a bit rushed, was a huge success,” he said.
“We would love another club too because it just adds structure and strength.”
The league finished with a surplus of $2,385 following increased gate takings, helped by the addition of the Giants, and a strong attendance across the finals series.
“We were really happy with all of the attendance and especially during the finals – I think our venues matched up really well with the games,” Mr Albrecht said.
Guy Smith has been confirmed as the Wimmera league’s interleague coach, taking over form Shayne Breuer.
“Shayne did a great job but just couldn’t commit at this stage,” Mr Albrecht said.
“Guy Smith was the man we wanted for the job and we are extremely happy he is interested in doing the role for at least two years.”
Round 1: April 13
SMG v Stawell at Beulah, MM v Saints at Murtoa (twilight), Nhill v Dimboola, Ararat v WE, Horsham – Bye.
Good Friday: April 19
Stawell v Ararat.
Round 2: April 27
WE v SMG, Horsham v Saints (ANZAC Day), Dimboola v MM, Nhill v Ararat, Stawell – Bye.
Round 3: May 4
SMG v Horsham at Hopetoun, Saints v Nhill, Ararat v Dimboola, Stawell v WE, MM – Bye.
Round 4: May 11
MM v SMG at Minyip, Saints v Ararat, WE v Dimboola, Horsham v Stawell (night), Nhill – Bye.
May 18 – Interleague
Round 5: May 25 Indigenous Round
SMG v Nhill at Beulah, WE v Saints, Stawell v MM, Dimboola v Horsham, Ararat – Bye.
Round 6: June 1
Ararat v SMG, Saints v Stawell, Nhill v WE, MM v Horsham at Murtoa, Dimboola – Bye.
Round 7: June 8
SMG v Dimboola at Hopetoun, Horsham v Nhill, WE v MM; Saints, Stawell, Ararat – Bye.
Round 8: June 15
Saints v SMG, Dimboola v Stawell, Ararat v Horsham, Nhill v MM, WE – Bye.
Round 9: June 22
Stawell v Nhill, Horsham v WE, MM v Ararat, Dimboola v Saints, SMG – Bye.
Round 10: June 29
Stawell v SMG, Saints v MM, Dimboola v Nhill, WE v Ararat, Horsham – Bye.
Round 11: July 6
SMG v WE at Beulah, MM v Dimboola at Murtoa, Ararat v Nhill, Saints v Horsham (Sunday), Stawell – Bye.
Round 12: July 13
Horsham v SMG, Nhill v Saints, Dimboola v Ararat, WE v Stawell, MM – Bye.
Round 13: July 20
SMG v MM, Ararat v Saints, Dimboola v WE, Stawell v Horsham, Nhill – Bye.
Round 14: July 27
Nhill v SMG, Saints v WE, MM v Stawell, Horsham v Dimboola, Ararat – Bye.
Round 15: August 3
SMG v Ararat at Beulah, WE v Nhill, Stawell v Saints, Horsham v MM, Dimboola – Bye.
Round 16: August 10
Dimboola v SMG, Ararat v Stawell, Nhill v Horsham, MM v WE at Murtoa, Saints – Bye.
Round 17: August 17
SMG v Saints at Hopetoun, Stawell v Dimboola, Horsham v Ararat, MM v Nhill at Minyip, WE – Bye.
Round 18: August 24
Nhill v Stawell, WE v Horsham, Ararat v MM, Saints v Dimboola, SMG – Bye.
Elim/Qual: August 31
Semi: September 7
Prelim: September 15
Grand final: September 21
Duel-ground club venues subject to change.