After discussions with various councils, AFL Victoria and schools, the VAFA regretfully advise that the 2007 season has been postponed for two weeks and will now commence on Saturday April 28. This will allow time to adequately prepare the grounds for a full season of football.
Due to the lack of rain and the high temperatures, councils have had to delay any seeding of the grounds. Once seeded these grounds need 3 – 4 weeks before they are ready for a season of football.
It was anticipated that one of the strengths of the competition would be the availability of school grounds but unfortunately many of our clubs who do use their schools grounds for home matches have been told that they will either have restricted use or in some cases have been told that they cannot use the grounds at all.
The following changes to the fixture will occur and the fixtures on the website will be adjusted accordingly.
1. We will transfer Round 1 to the week after Round 18.
2. Round 2 would be played on the Queens Birthday weekend.
3. Round 1 for A, B, C and U19 1 & 2 would be played on September 1.
4. Round 1 for D1 – D4 & U19 3, N & S would be played on August 25.
5. Club XVIII, due to commence on April 21, would have their Round 1 fixture played on the Queens Birthday weekend and therefore no change to Club XVIII finals. Their season would also commence on April 28.
6. The A – D4 representative match against the SFL has been cancelled.
7. The U19 match against AFL Queensland, scheduled for the Queens Birthday weekend, will go ahead as we are just establishing a relationship and want this fixture to continue long term.
8. The Bye weekend in July for A, B, C and U19 1 & 2 still remains thus our representative Football commitments for that weekend remain unchanged.
9. D4 will revert to a final four as we are not able to guarantee finals grounds at that stage of the season.
10. D1 – D4, U19 3, N & S will have their finals brought back a week to commence on the weekend of September 1/2 and concluding on the weekend of September 15/16.
11. A, B, C, U19 1 & 2 finals will commence on the weekend of September 8/9 and conclude on the weekend of September 15/16.
12. A and B Section will revert from a four week finals series to a three week series.
Note: a) The reason why we are shifting Round 1 to the end of the year and not to the Queens Birthday weekend is because you would all play the same team twice in three weeks.
b) We are not able to take the fixture back by two weeks and play the scheduled Round 1 games on April 28 as the fixture is too complex and arrangements have been made with outside agencies regarding ground usage.
We are able to accommodate all A, B, C and Under 19 1 & 2 Finals as they are played at Sportscover Arena and Sandringham and have already been booked. The difficulties may occur on Grand Final weekend for D1 – D4 and U19 3, N & S as the preferred grounds may be required for cricket preparations. We have requested to councils that as our season has been taken back two weeks then cricket should, if necessary, be taken back one week to accommodate our finals.
There will no doubt be variations to some of the fixtures and we urge all clubs to work together to ensure all games are played. A spirit of co-operation will be required.
This alternative schedule is only if we are not able to begin on April 14. A decision on this is likely to be made by the end of next week.
The fixtures for all Club XVIII and Under 19 3, N & S will be distributed on Friday.
As the draw for Club XVIII and U19 3, North & South hadn?t been released an updated one will now be completed by Jeremy and will not be available until next week.
Thank you for your patience and we look forward to the commencement of the season on April 28.
VAFA Chief Executive Officer