BFL draft fixture features four night games early in competition

A PLETHORA of fan-friendly matches are set to open the 2014 Ballarat Football League home and away season.

Headlining the draft fixture, released yesterday, will be four night games played within the opening five rounds of competition.

Brad Murphy (Melton) and Phil Carman (Sebastopol) will officially begin their BFL coaching duties in round one – set to start on April 12 – while four-time Henderson Medallist Jarrod Edwards is expected to debut for North Ballarat City against former club Redan.

Round one will be capped off by a stand-alone encounter between Sunbury and Darley on Sunday, April 13.

Two independent matches will break up the opening six rounds of play, with the under-18 challenge taking place between rounds four and five and the Worksafe AFL Victoria Country Championships played between rounds five and six.

Ballarat will take on the Riddell District Football League in the under-18 championships and Goulburn Valley in the Worksafe titles.

Good Friday will see a blockbuster between reigning premier North Ballarat City and Bacchus Marsh, with City to unveil its premiership flag and Cameron Richardson to make his coaching debut for the Cobras.

Anzac Day will feature two matches, with Ballarat taking on East Point and Darley and Bacchus Marsh doing battle on Friday, April 25.

The league has targeted a need for more Sunday games to be played in 2014 to counteract umpire shortages.

Meanwhile, the round 13 rivalry round will see several changes, including a match between Ballarat and North Ballarat City.

BFL clubs have been given until Friday, December 20, to make recommendations and requests to the draft fixture, with the final version to be released soon after.

michael.pollock@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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