Western Bulldogs return to Ballarat for pre-season match

Liam Picken (Western Bulldogs) and Grant Birchall (Hawthorn) could clash again in Ballarat next year.
Liam Picken (Western Bulldogs) and Grant Birchall (Hawthorn) could clash again in Ballarat next year.

Preseason AFL footy will return to Ballarat in 2018 after a one-year hiatus.

The Western Bulldogs will return to the city for a round of the JLT Community Series in March, hosting traditional powerhouse Hawthorn.

The Bulldogs and Hawks will clash on March Saturday, March 3 at Mars Stadium.

It will be one of just two preseason hit-outs for both clubs.

Ballarat missed out on a preseason match last year due to development at Mars Stadium, before hosting Western Bulldogs and Port Adelaide in the city’s first ever match for premiership points in August.

The shortened pre-season format will be played across a three-week stretch and wind up on March 11.

The first weekend (February 24-25) sees four matches played on Saturday and Sunday, while there are Wednesday and Thursday night matches in weeks two and three.

All matches will be broadcast on Fox Footy and available via the AFL Live app.

The fixture for the home and away season will be released on October 31.