BFL to meet Goulburn Valley on AFL's biggest stage

The Ballarat Football League is set to meet Goulburn Valley at the MCG in next year’s AFL Victoria Community Championships.

The inter-league encounter is being planned as a curtain-raiser to the clash between Essendon and Geelong on Saturday, May 19, as part of the AFL Country Game Festival.

AFL Goldfields chief executive officer Rod Ward welcomed the announcement, saying it was exciting for the BFL.

Rod Ward

Rod Ward

He said while the BFL was fortunate to have had strong player support for representative campaigns, he believed playing at the MCG would create even more enthusiasm.

AFL Victoria, in announcing the proposal, said final confirmation of the fixture would come in the new year.

Ballarat and GVFL are ranked seventh and eighth respectively in the championships.

Ward said this game had been given the nod for the MCG as it was the highest ranked match-up involving two country-based competitions.

AFL Victoria community football development manager Stephen O’Donohue said it was pleasing to once again be part of the annual festival.

“The BFL and GVFL match will showcase a high standard of football from regional Victoria,” he said.

“The AFL country game is a great platform to highlight the importance of regional Victoria and for football fans to celebrate country football.”

This will be the third time a country game has been fixtured as part of the festival.

Mornington Peninsula Nepean played Geelong played as a curtain-raiser to Essendon and Geelong last year.

The BFL was originally scheduled to play Western Region in the championships, but the match-up was changed after the higher-ranked Essendon District withdrew.