AFL fixture offers lots of chances to get to know the enemy
THE four AFL North Coast clubs are going to get to know each other very well in 2018.
Local teams Sawtell/Toormina and the Coffs Breakers along with Grafton and Port Macquarie will meet each other five times in a 15 round competition which begins on April 21.
Over the past couple of seasons the four clubs have played cross-conference matches against teams from the Northern Rivers league to provide some variety of opposition through the year.
The cross conference against teams from up north aren't featuring this year due to changes made to competition structures by AFL Queensland which sees the Northern Rivers League now come under the control of AFL Queensland.
There will be a representative match played against AFL North West at C.ex Coffs International Stadium on June 23.
The first day of the new season will see the Coffs Breakers return to their Fitzroy Oval/Old Camp home ground where it will unfurl the premiership flag prior to playing against Grafton.
Possibly the most exciting news for the AFL North Coast this year is the launch of the women's competition with Sawtell/Toormina and Port Macquarie in the League's first competitive women's fixture on April 21.
A change has also been made to the youth division with the age group dropping back to under-17.
This now means that AFL North Coast has age groups at each two year span from under-11 to Under 17 prior to moving up to senior or reserves football.
This is a move designed to provide a competitive structure that's suited to retaining players therefore growing the code locally.
Grand final day will be September 1 which coincides with the AFL bye weekend between the last round and the start of its fnals series.
There's been a change to finals series format. In 2018 there will be a three week finals series with the first week being a qualifying final between the top two teams to see who is the first to make the grand final.
AFL NORTH COAST FIXTURE
Round 1 - April 21: Sawtell/Toormina v Port Macquarie, Coffs Breakers v Grafton.
Round 2 - April 28: Port Macquarie v Grafton, Sawtell/Toormina v Coffs Breakers.
Round 3 - May 5: Port Macquarie v Coffs Breakers, Grafton v Sawtell/Toormina.
Round 4 - May 12: Sawtell/Toormina v Port Macquarie, Coffs Breakers v Grafton.
Round 5 - May 19: Grafton v Port Macquarie, Sawtell/Toormina v Coffs Breakers.
Round 6 - May 26: Port Macquarie v Sawtell/Toormina, Grafton v Coffs Breakers.
Round 7 - June 2: Coffs Breakers v Port Macquarie, Grafton v Sawtell/Toormina.
June 9 - Queen's Birthday weekend.
Round 8 - June 16: Grafton v Port Macquarie, Sawtell/Toormina v Coffs Breakers.
June 23 - Rep match v AFL North West in Coffs Harbour.
Round 9 - June 30: Port Macquarie v Coffs Breakers, Sawtell/Toormina v Grafton.
Round 10 - July 7: Port Macquarie v Grafton, Coffs Breakers v Swatell/Toormina.
Round 11 - July 14: Port Macquarie v Sawtell/Toormina, Grafton v Coffs Breakers.
Round 12 - July 21: Coffs Breakers v Port Macquarie, Sawtell/Toormina v Grafton.
Round 13 - July 28: Grafton v Port Macquarie, Coffs Breakers v Sawtell/Toormina.
Round 14 - August 4: Port Macquarie v Sawtell/Toormina, Coffs Breakers v Grafton.
Round 15 - August 11: Port Macquarie v Coffs Breakers, Grafton v Sawtell/Toormina.
August 18 - Qualifying Final
August 25 - Preliminary Final
September 1 - Grand Final