FOOTBALL fans can get their calendars ready after the Western Border Football League announced its fixture for the 2020 season.
The first bounce of the year will be on April 18, while the final siren will sound at West Gambier during the grand final on September 12.
The draw has been highlighted by a couple of small changes.
Most notable was the scrapping of split rounds taking place during the home and away season.
Last year saw rounds two and three separated, but consistency has been preferred for 2020.
However, the two mid-year byes for the South East Zone Carnival and South Australian Country Championships remain in place.
Those two weekends will be the only breaks for Western Border teams, as all six will be in action every Saturday.
SANFL South East football operations manager Michael Mourbey said the decision was based off feedback from the WBFL, while the Easter weekend also had an influence.
“The board actually thought in previous years split rounds elongated the season, with clubs probably not playing for two to three weeks,” he said.
“With where Easter fell this year, we can go straight through without split rounds, so there is now a good amount of consistency, with clubs playing regularly rather than having a stop-start scenario.”
Easter was not the only key date to make an impact on the fixture, with Anzac Day also creating changes.
Due to April 25 falling on a Saturday, traditional Anzac Day rivals South and North Gambier will not be the only teams playing off on the special occasion.
Casterton Sandford will host East Gambier, while West Gambier welcomes Millicent to Malseed Park to celebrate the Anzac spirit.
Mourbey said all six clubs are aware of the move, with the round expected to go ahead just like any other Saturday.
The finals series has also received a face lift after last year’s trial of a three-week system.
The 2020 finals series will return to the usual one-game-per-week program, opposed to playing both semi-finals on the same weekend like last year.
Millicent and Casterton are the venues for this season’s semi-finals which will be played during the last two weekends of August, while Blue Lake Sports Park will host the preliminary final.
Mourbey said the change was made due to a number of factors, which ensured a standalone Western Border decider in the South East.
“The move was based off a bit of everything to be honest,” he said.
“There was both good and negative feedback about having two finals on the one weekend last year.
“The (2020) fixture worked out well to have four weeks of finals so the WBFL can have a stand alone grand final.”
The opening round will see reigning premier North Gambier host Casterton Sandford, while Millicent face South and East play West on Saturday, April 18.