Rivals Shepparton and Shepparton United will stage a Good Friday battle to open next year’s Goulburn Valley Football League season.
The fixture was released to the football public on Monday night with a major talking point an increase in night and twilight matches.
Mooroopna has been locked in to host a night final in September, one of seven night matches to be played during the season. The Cats will stage three night games, with Kyabram (two), Echuca (one) and Shepparton (one) the other venues.
The grand final has been locked in for Sunday, September 24 at Deakin Reserve, while there is only one general bye, which coincides with the interleague match between the GVFL and Ovens and Murray league on May 13.
Unlike recent seasons there is only one split round, coming in round 16 with three matches on August 5-6 and three on August 12.
Echuca and Shepparton United are trialling the twilight timeslot, with the Murray Bombers opening their season at home to Euroa from 4pm in the middle of the Easter weekend.
The league decided to capitalise on Echuca’s and Mansfield’s reputations as tourist hot spots at that time of the year, with the Eagles hosting Tatura first-up.
Shepparton United has two twilight contests — against Seymour in round five and Mooroopna in round 17.
Four Sunday games permeate the schedule, headlined by the grand final rematch between Rochester and Kyabram at Moon Oval on April 30.
Other features include the Anzac commemoration match between Seymour and Mansfield on Sunday, April 23 and the Lions are working on plans for a potential Vietnam Veterans Day for the round 18 showdown against Euroa.
GVFL chairman David Roff praised the clubs for working through some pivotal parts of the fixture.
‘‘In 2015 (the) clubs voted in favour of a rolling fixture over three years, with 2017 being the second season of this format,’’ Roff said.
‘‘Clubs then have the ability to negotiate game times, which has led to some exciting variations as highlighted in the fixture.’’