HILLSIDE and Taylors Lakes will kick off the 2018 Essendon Ford Division 1 season with a bang.
The EDFL today confirmed the full fixture for Essendon Ford Division 1 and it is loaded with massive rivalry games and marquee fixtures throughout the season.
Each of the nine clubs will play 16 games across 18 rounds, with each side having two bye weeks throughout the year.
As a result, 2017 runner-up Airport West will be the last club in the entire league to play its first game of the season, having a Round 1 bye before hosting Taylors Lakes on April 21 (Round 2).
Hillside’s home-and-away campaign will end a week earlier than everyone else, as the Sharks have the bye in Round 18.
Round 1 will commence one week after both Premier Division and Division 2, with Jacana marking its return to the division with a Friday night clash against Westmeadows on April 13.
The following day will see Craigieburn play its first game in the division since the 2016 Grand Final at home to Hillside.
Later that evening, Tullamarine will host Oak Park under lights.
In Round 2 new Tullamarine coach, Dave Connell, will face his former club Westmeadows in what is always a big rivalry game at Willowbrook Reserve.
Round 3 will commence on ANZAC Day with Westmeadows hosting Oak Park mid-week, before old friends Peter Bugden and Robbie Fletcher face off in the coaching ranks for the first time on April 28 with Craigieburn hosting Jacana.
The Eagles will then back that up with a 2016 Grand Final re-match against Tullamarine in Round 5.
Speaking of ‘Eagles’, the Round 6 clash between Craigieburn and Airport West (both known as the Eagles) will mark the first time the two clubs have met at senior level since Round 14, 2005 - the last time both clubs were in the same division.
The following week, Airport West will host Hillside for the first time since their thrilling Preliminary Final win over the Sharks in 2017.
The Eagles (Airport West, that is) will also host their annual NAIDOC Week game in Round 12 at home to East Keilor.
The finals will commence with Semi Final 2 on Saturday August 25, a week after the Division 2 finals kick off.
The Preliminary Final will be played on Sunday September 2 (likely at Windy Hill), with the Grand Final to be played on Saturday September 8 – one week prior to the Strathmore Community Bank Premier Division Grand Final.
Download the full 2018 Essendon Ford Division draw HERE.
Strathmore Community Bank Premier Division Fixture Reveal – Friday 9am
Strathmore Community Bank Division 2 Fixture Reveal – CLICK HERE.