THE Horsham Demons, Stawell Warriors and Ararat Storm will become very familiar foes in a modified Western Victoria Female Football League this season.
A plan to limit travel amid the COVID-19 pandemic means the under-18 competition has been split into two groups.
The Storm, Warriors, Demons and Hamilton Kangaroos make up the North Group, and will play each other at least twice across the course of an eight-round season beginning on August 2.
Portland, Old Collegians, Timboon, Terang Mortlake, Warrnambool and South Warrnambool meanwhile will be in a separate South Group.
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AFL Western District senior operations manager Mike Farrow said the decision was made with players' best interests at heart.
"Basically with the protocols of COVID-19 we were hoping to have less travel with teams crossing into different areas," he said.
"It was decided to try and keep two groups so it restricted travel.
"In junior female football they've often used buses as a way to keep the girls together but with self-distancing it was probably better to keep minimum transport."
The Demons and the Warriors will battle in the first round, while Ararat take on Hamilton.
Farrow said a decision on the finals format would be confirmed as the season progressed. "It is a work in progress because of everything," he said.
Farrow said it was important to ensure junior players got the chance to compete.
"It is with all junior football, it's about participation this year," he said.
"We didn't want any player to miss an age group which would make it very hard for them the following year when they're going up an age group."
Matches are scheduled on Sundays, starting August 2, but clubs can discuss playing on a Saturday if it works better for both parties.
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