NORTH Ballarat is set for a blockbuster start to the 2014 Peter Jackson VFL home and away season, with the club learning yesterday that it will play four stand-alone VFL sides in the opening five rounds.
The release of the 2014 fixture has seen a fan-friendly draw for the Selkirk Roosters, who will open their season on March 29 against Collingwood for the second straight year.
North Ballarat Roosters football manager Marg Richards is excited about the potential of the draw to bring supporters to games, but is also keen to see how the club adapts to the changing competition after cutting its development league team earlier this year.
“We’re excited about our new model, which will change the landscape a bit and hopefully let us focus on just the one team, one week at a time,” Richards said.
“This draw gives us the opportunity to play on some very good surfaces and play against several high-profile teams at our own oval.”
“We take the fixture as it comes and now with 16 teams (for the first time in over a decade), it is a very, very even competition and one that is hard to compare to in years gone by because the format is so different.”
Highlights of the Roosters’ upcoming season include hosting new stand-alone teams Footscray and Richmond in rounds five and 11, as well as playing Bendigo in a regional match at Swan Hill in round round eight.
The club’s season will be broken up with bye rounds in rounds six and 16.
The Roosters will finish their home and away season on August 23 with an away match to Port Melbourne.
ROOSTERS' 2014 DRAW
ROUND 1: v Collingwood (a), March 29
ROUND 2: v Essendon (a), April 12
ROUND 3: v Sandringham (h), April 19
ROUND 4: v Geelong (a), April 27
ROUND 5: v Footscray (h), May 4
ROUND 6: bye May 10-11
ROUND 7: v Frankston (h), May 18
ROUND 8: v Bendigo (away at Swan Hill), May 25
ROUND 9: v Box Hill (a), June 7
ROUND 10: v Casey (h), June 14
ROUND 11: v Richmond (h), June 22
ROUND 12: v Footscray (a), June 28
ROUND 13: v Werribee (a), July 5
ROUND 14: v Northern Blues (h), July 12
ROUND 15: v Bendigo (h), July 19
ROUND 16: v bye July 26-27
ROUND 17: v Coburg (a), August 3
ROUND 18: v Geelong (h), August 10
ROUND 19: v Williamstown (h), August 16
ROUND 20: v Port Melbourne (a), August 23