LODDON Valley chairman Graham Watson says the league is “over the moon” at its return to AFL Victoria’s Community Championships in 2018.
The LVFNL has been absent from senior inter-league for the past two years, but on Tuesday it was included as part of the 2018 Community Championships.
Loddon Valley has been fixtured a home game against the Golden Rivers league on Saturday, May 19.
“We’re over the moon to be included again, and the fact we’re hosting the game is an added bonus,” Watson said on Wednesday.
“Part of the issues we’d had were around travel… we’d travelled for a long time and now the league and all the clubs are keen to get back into it.”
Loddon Valley made its return to inter-league in 2010 for the first time since 2003 and had been due to travel to Warrnambool in 2016 in what would have been its fifth away game in seven years.
Loddon Valley’s last inter-league game was in 2015 when it lost to Alberton by 39 points as part of a double-header at the QEO that also featured Heathcote District playing Central Murray.
Watson says the league would be interested in discussing with North Central, which is also a host league next year, about the prospect of a potential QEO double-header.
“We were really pleased with the last time we were part of the double-header, so that would be a really big option that we’d like to look at, but there’s a lot of things we’d need to go through to see if it would be feasible,” Watson said.
With the Loddon Valley’s return to inter-league confirmed for next year, the league will now step up the hunt for a coach.
“There’s a number of names that have already been thrown up that we’ll be looking at,” Watson said.
“I think most of the clubs have missed not having inter-league the past couple of years and can see the benefits of showcasing our league, so we’re looking forward to being part of it again.”
North Central’s inter-league opponent next year is the Southern league.
North Central general manager Lance Standfield said the prospect of being involved in a QEO double-header hadn’t been discussed given the official draw has only just been released.
Wycheproof-Narraport’s Julian Bull – the reigning premiership coach – has been appointed the North Central league’s 2018 inter-league coach.