REIGNING premier Maffra will begin its premiership defence under lights when it hosts traditional rival Sale in round one of the 2017 Gippsland League season on Saturday, 8 April.
Among the Latrobe Valley teams, Traralgon kicks off its season at home against Wonthaggi, while Moe will start with a trip up the Princes Freeway for its opening match against Warragul.
Morwell will join the Lions on the road when it takes on semi-finalist Drouin in round one.
Last season’s losing finalist Leongatha will have plenty of time to plot its revenge, with the highly-anticipated grand final rematch not taking place until round nine.
After a thrilling A grade netball grand final, Traralgon will have its shot at revenge against reigning premier Drouin in round five.
Other highlights of the fixture include two Good Friday games – between Morwell and Warragul and South Gippsland foes Wonthaggi Power and Leongatha – in the first week of the split round two and the customary Queen’s Birthday Weekend clash between Traralgon and Morwell.
The three remaining round two games take place on Anzac Day Weekend, while a league-wide bye has been scheduled for the weekend of 29-30 July.
Gippsland League chair Greg Maidment said the fixture featured plenty of interest for supporters of all clubs.
“After having a similar order of games in the past few years we have made a concerted effort to mix it up next season,” Maidment said.
“One key focus was making sure every club had one home game in the first two rounds and the last two rounds of the season to make sure the fixture was as fair as possible.
“Our marquee games drew some fantastic crowds last season and we look forward to that continuing in 2017.”
The 2017 finals series kicks off Saturday, 2 September, with the grand final taking place on Saturday, 23 September.