The fixtures for all three NFNL senior men’s football competitions have been released ahead of the return to play in 2021.
After the 2020 season was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the return to action in 2021 will feature a new competition structure.
Meadows Greyhounds Division 1 and MC Labour Division 2 will each feature 10 teams and a top-five finals system. Eight teams will compete in Heidelberg Golf Club Division 3, which will continue with a top-four finals system.
With even team numbers in all three senior men’s football competitions, every club will play 18 home and away games in season 2021.
The return of football in the NFNL will take place on Good Friday, with Eltham to host St Mary’s at Eltham Central Park from 2:10pm, while Epping and Thomastown meet in a twilight game at Epping Recreation Reserve.
The Good Friday matches will be played on Friday April 2 and have been scheduled as part of an elongated Round 1 in MC Labour Division 2.
All four teams who play on Good Friday will also play the following weekend to conclude Round 1 and will have a bye later in the season.
Other fixtures including the complete Division 2 game fixture are available at nfnl.org.au
Key features of the 2021 NFNL senior men’s football fixtures include:
MC LABOUR DIVISION 2
• With the competition expanded to 10 teams in 2021, five matches will be played each round. The fixture will replicate first division, with each club to play every opponent twice – once at home and once away.
• Two matches to be played on Good Friday, which will kickstart the return of football in the NFNL. Eltham will host St Mary’s at Eltham Central Park at 2:10pm, while Epping hosts a twilight game against Thomastown starting at 4:10pm.
• Panton Hill to unfurl its 2019 premiership flag in Round 1. The Redbacks host Diamond Creek in a twilight match at A.E. Cracknell Reserve.
• Banyule’s first two home games to be played in the twilight timeslot. The Bears will host Lower Plenty in Round 2 and St Mary’s in Round 4.
• Lower Plenty and Panton Hill to both host twilight matches on Saturday during ANZAC Round (Round 3).
• Two matches to be played on Sunday during ANZAC Round. Epping will host Diamond Creek at Epping Recreation Reserve, while Thomastown will take on Fitzroy Stars at Main Street Recreation Reserve.
• Fitzroy Stars and Thomastown to compete for the NAIDOC Cup in their July 10 clash at Sir Douglas Nicholls Oval. The match will be held during NAIDOC week, which coincides with the NFNL’s Sir Douglas Nicholls Round.
• Finals series to commence on the weekend of August 21-22 and run across four weeks following the introduction of a top-five finals system.