Grand final rematches will open the Farrer and Riverina League seasons next year.
AFL Riverina released the draws for the two senior competitions on Wednesday with the opening round grand final rematches the highlight.
Marrar will unfurl their first Farrer League premiership flag in 21 years when they host Temora at Langtry Oval on April 14.
The opening round grand final rematch will return to the Riverina League next year when Leeton-Whitton host Collingullie-Glenfield Park at Leeton Showground on April 21.
AFL Riverina football operations coordinator Matt Irons said they were the logical way to kick off the season.
“Traditionally it’s something that’s always happened...and they are big drawcards depending on recruiting and everything else that has happened over the pre-season,” Irons said.
The Riverina League will also feature four twilight fixtures, while the Farrer League boasts the traditional Anzac Challenge between Marrar and The Rock-Yerong Creek under lights at Robertson Oval on April 27.
Irons said twilight fixtures were something the AFL was hoping to see more of in the future.
“It’s a really good opportunity to showcase junior and senior club alignment,” he said.
“They are also reward for a lot of work that clubs put into their facilities. It’s a great experience.”
The Farrer League will start a week earlier than the Riverina League. Farrer League grand final day will be Saturday, September 15. Riverina League will be the following Saturday, September 22.
Both leagues will have a general bye on Saturday May 19 for representative football. AFL NSW-ACT hope to release the representative schedule in coming weeks.
Sunday football remains unpopular with just seven Sunday home and away games scheduled in the Riverina League for 2018.
The only potential change to the draw could surround the days of Ganmain-Grong Grong-Matong’s home games, pending their application to join Wagga and District juniors.
The full draws can be found here.
Saturday April 14
Marrar v Temora
North Wagga v Coleambally
Northern Jets v EWK
TRYC v Barellan
Saturday April 21
Leeton-Whitton v Collingullie-GP
MCUE v GGGM
Turvey Park v Coolamon
Griffith v Narrandera
Bye: Wagga Tigers
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