AFL Riverina will reintroduce football on Good Friday next year with one of the region’s biggest rivalries set to take centre stage.
Turvey Park will host traditional rivals Wagga Tigers in a standalone Good Friday fixture at Maher Oval.
AFL Riverina put the Good Friday fixture idea to clubs in a recent survey and the Bulldogs jumped at the opportunity.
Turvey Park president Stephen Stapleton is excited by the return.
“I think it’s quite an exciting concept,” Stapleton said.
“Turvey played Griffith in a twilight Good Friday game in 1995, I think, we’ve been talking about it, a lot of ex-players recall it being a great concept that was well supported.
“The idea was pretty well received at our club. It wasn’t at all a tough decision, we’re very happy to be involved in the concept and AFL Riverina should be complimented for the initiative.”
While the two clubs will discuss start times, the senior game is expected to be held at the traditional 2.10pm timeslot due to a lack of adequate lighting at Maher Oval.
It will be the only game held in AFL Riverina over the Easter weekend, with both clubs to get a bye in round seven over the Queen’s Birthday long weekend.
Griffith also expressed interest in a Good Friday fixture in the Murrumbidgee Irrigation Area (MIA) but a suitable opponent was unable to be found.
AFL Riverina football operations manager Shane Buchanan said the time had come to try a Good Friday fixture again.
“We’re taking the lead from leagues across Victoria, and other leagues across Australia,” Buchanan said.
“We’re bringing the game back and it’s exciting. It hasn’t been done in a number of seasons, clubs expressed an interest in doing it so it will be good to see how it goes.”
Wagga Tigers president Anthony Lyons believes the concept is a winner.
“We’re looking forward to it. It’s been talked about for several seasons now, a Good Friday game, so hopefully the community get behind it,” Lyons said.
“It should be a good game.”
The Good Friday fixture is one feature of the AFL Riverina senior draws, that was released to clubs on Tuesday night.