Stawell to face 35 day gap between first and second game

The Warriors will have to endure a 35-day break between their first and second match of the 2018 Wimmera league season after the fixture was revised this week.

The introduction of the Southern Mallee Giants into the Wimmera League created an uneven number of teams in the competition, creating a bye round.

Each team will have two byes each, with Stawell’s coming in round two and round 11.

The round two bye has caused concern, with the Warriors playing their first round on Good Friday at the end of March, three weeks earlier than the other clubs. 

The addition of the bye directly after this gap means 35 days will pass between Stawell’s first and second matches in season 2018. 

Stawell president Tim Williams said while it is “far from ideal” to have such a big break in between matches, it is a positive to have the fixture confirmed. 

“We put a few different ideas to the league and thought about bringing it forward one week but it would have disrupted other clubs too much,” he said.

“With us now looking to play Ararat and Good Friday every year it can make it tough since Easter dates always change. We want to play on that day though so we just have to move on with it.

LEADER: Damian Joiner will play a big role for Stawell in this season, stepping up as assistant coach and co-captain. Picture: Peter Pickering.

LEADER: Damian Joiner will play a big role for Stawell in this season, stepping up as assistant coach and co-captain. Picture: Peter Pickering.

“It is good to have some clarity around what is happening now.”

The fixture has been devised to allow Swifts and the Warriors to play home games in alternating weeks, resulting in just one club playing in Stawell each week.

The Warriors will combat the gap between Wimmera league matches by taking on Ballarat Football League team Lake Wendouree in a practice match on April 14.

“The practice match will help a lot to keep our mind on the task,” Williams said.

“I’m sure Col (Macaffer) will look after the boys in those weeks.” 

“We are happier now because we can plan for the year, set up our social calendar and get organised.”

2018 WARRIORS FIXTURE

R1 – March 30: Ararat (A)

R2 – April 28: BYE

R3 – May 5: Nhill (H)

R4 – May 12: Saints (A)

Interleague break – May 19: Wimmera v Ballerine

R5 – May 26: Dimboola (H)

R6 – June 2: SMG (A)

R7 – June 9: Warrack (H)

R8 – June 16: Minyip-Murtoa (A)

R9 – June 23: Demons (A)

R10 – June 30: Ararat (H)

R11 – July 7: BYE

R12 – July 14: Nhill (A)

R13 – July 21: Saints (H) R14 – July 28: Dimboola (A)

R15 – Aug 4: SMG (H)

R16 – Aug 11: Warrack (A)

R17 – Aug 18: Minyip-Murtoa (H)

R18 – Aug 25: Horsham (H)