Baggies given bye in first round of the season

SEASON OPENER: Scott Carey breaks through the pack against Pimpinio last year. The Baggies and Tigers will meet in round two. Picture: Trish Ralph.
SEASON OPENER: Scott Carey breaks through the pack against Pimpinio last year. The Baggies and Tigers will meet in round two. Picture: Trish Ralph.

Swifts Football Netball Club will have to wait one week longer than the rest of the Horsham District league to kick off their 2018 season.

The Baggies were scheduled a bye in the first round of the season after a revised fixture was released on Wednesday. 

With the Southern Mallee Giants moving into the Wimmera league, Horsham District league officials were forced to alter the original fixture that was released in December.

Swifts will now have a bye in the first round but will open the season at home against Pimpinio. 

Swifts senior football coach Scott Carey said he is “really happy” with the draw his side has been given.

“The league has done a great job with the short amount of time since the Giants moved out,” he said.

“I think everyone should be pretty pleased with how it turned out.”

A tentative fixture released on Monday suggested the mid-season Queen’s Birthday weekend bye for all teams be abolished, but after the Horsham District league board expressed their desire to include the week off for all teams the season was brought back to start on April 7 to allow for the weekend off.

RELATED COVERAGE

Swifts has been dealt a relatively kind fixture, facing just two top six teams from 2017 twice in Natimuk United and Harrow-Balmoral.

The Baggies will also be one of seven teams who have two byes throughout the season. Swifts’ byes are in rounds one and 14.

Carey said starting a week later than the rest of the competition “does not worry” him.

“We just take it as our season starts a week later,” he said.

“Easter in Stawell is a bit crazy so it will be good to have a few weeks off and start a little later.”

The Baggies have hit the training track hard this pre-season, with inclusions such as Ben Martin driving the team to improve.

“We have had good numbers so far and I have been happy with the quality we are training at,” Carey said.

“The new guys have settled in quite nicely and are lifting our standards.”

2018 SWIFTS FIXTURE 

R1 – April 7: BYE  

R2 – April 14: Pimpinio (H) 

R3 – April 21: Rupanyup (A)

R4 – April 28: E’hope-Aps (H)

R5 – May 5: Har-Bal (A)

R6 – May 12: Tay Lake (H)

Interleague break – May 19: HDFNL v Warrnambool District League 

R7 – May 26: Kalkee (A)

R8 – June 2:  Nat Utd (H)

Long weekend bye: June 9

R9 – June 16: Nor-Quan(A) 

R10 – June 23: Laharum (H) 

R11 – June 30: Jep-R’bow (A) 

R12 – July 7: Pimpinio (A)

R13 – July 14: Rupanyup (H)

R14 – July 21: BYE

R15 – July 28: Har-Bal (H)

R16 – Aug 4: Tay Lake (A)

R17 – Aug 11: Kalkee (H)

R18 – Aug 18: Nat Utd (H)