THE 2014 Bendigo Football League season opens this weekend with five games that all have their points of intrigue.
The match of the round will be played on Sunday at Flight Centre Park when Strathfieldsaye, which will be far from full strength, hosts Golden Square in the grand final rematch.
A bumper crowd is expected in what will be the BFL debuts of the Storm's high-profile recruits in Stephen Milne and Steven Baker.
• On Saturday, the BFL spotlight will be on Kyneton when the Tigers - after their absence last season - make their return to the BFL senior competition at home against Eaglehawk.
Can the Tigers record a first-up win, or will the new-look Hawks spoil their party?
• QEO co-tenants South Bendigo and Sandhurst will square off as they add another chapter to their long-running BFL rivalry.
The Bloods will have a fresh look under new coach Jeff Brennan after a turnover of key players during the off-season, while Sandhurst shapes as a top flag contender.
• At Gardiner Reserve, the inclusion of the mercurial Saad Saad will add some excitement to Castlemaine's forward line in its tough assignment against Gisborne at a ground where the Magpies haven't won since 2001.
• On Saturday night, Maryborough has the chance to put a challenging off-season behind it when it takes on Kangaroo Flat under lights at Beck Legal Oval.