It is official, the Dale Alcock Homes, South West Football League season, officially starts this Saturday, when the opening round of the 2020 season takes place with four games to be held, with a stand alone fixture on Sunday.
It is the latest start to the season in the 63 year history of the South West Football League, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, but come Saturday, things will return to normal as our teams take to the field across all four Grades.
The first round will see Premiers Harvey Brunswick Leschenault unfurl the 2019 pennant at home, when they play host to Carey Park. South Bunbury who finished ninth last season, will start the 2020 season at home against last years Grand Finalists, Eaton Boomers. Busselton will play Donnybrook at Sir Stewart Bovell Park, while Bunbury and Augusta Margaret River, both of whom made last years finals series will do battle at PC Payne Park.
In the stand-alone Sunday fixture, an intriguing contest between Harvey Bulls and the Collie Eagles will take place at the Harvey Oval. Harvey Bulls who took home the wooden spoon in 2019, will hoping for a change of fortune when they play the Eagles, with the day dedicated to Lockie Hernaman.
There will be a few minor differences in 2020, with League Matches involving four games, starting at the later timeslot of 3.00pm for day games, which will enable Colts fixtures to start at 9.45am, making it easier and safer for players, officials and spectators to get to some venues in day light hours, instead of leaving home in the dark in the middle of Winter.
Due to Covid-19 Water Carriers will not be permitted in the 2020 season, as the sharing of water bottles is not permitted due to the pandemic, and as such, expect plenty of rotations on and off the bench.
While still in Phase 4 Government restrictions, the 2 square metre rule still applies in closed areas, so restrictions to changerooms will still be in place to essential personnel only.
There is only one rule change in 2020 for Community Football, and that is the protected zone around a player kicking over his/her mark, which will be extended from 5 metres to 10 metres, the same as the AFL.
With mostly fine conditions forecast for the opening round, it would be great to see big crowds in attendance at all five venues to start the shortened nine round season. With only nine rounds, every game is vital, and it is anticipated that there will be a log-jam of teams fighting for finals positions due to the shortened nature of the competition, making for an exciting season.
Saturday, 18 July 2020
Harvey Brunswick Leschenault v Carey Park – Brunswick Oval
(Colts 9.45am, Reserves 11.40am, Womens 1.30pm, League 3.00pm)
South Bunbury v Eaton Boomers – Hands Memorial Oval
(Colts 9.45am, Reserves 11.40am, Womens, 1.30pm, League 3.00pm)
Busselton v Donnybrook – Sir Stewart Bovell Park
(Colts 9.45am, Reserves, 11.40am, Womens, 1.30pm, League 3.00pm)
Bunbury v Augusta Margaret River – PC Payne Park
(Colts 10.15am, Reserves 12.15pm, League 2.20pm)
Sunday, 19 July 2020
Harvey Bulls v Collie Eagles – Harvey Oval
(Colts 10.15am, Reserves, 12.15pm, League 2.20pm)