No budge likely on North Central, Loddon Valley grand final clash

NEITHER the North Central or Loddon Valley leagues appear likely to budge on their grand final clash date next year.

The two neighboring leagues that are both part of the AFL Central Victoria region are fixtured to play their grand finals next year on Saturday, September 15.

For the past three seasons AFLCV’s four senior leagues – which also includes Bendigo and Heathcote District – have had their grand finals scheduled on separate weekends, giving each the chance to command the showcase spotlight.

North Central general manager Lance Standfield said the league’s clubs were strong in their desire for their grand final to remain on the Saturday, regardless of it going head-to-head with the Loddon Valley.

“When the issue of a grand final clash was raised at the pre-annual meeting, there were no’s all round in regards to switching it to the Sunday,” Standfield said on Saturday. 

“Some of the factors that were raised in regards to keeping it on the Saturday were tradition and religious grounds, but they just believe that the Saturday is their grand final day.”

Loddon Valley league chairman Graham Watson acknowledged the grand final clash with North Central was not ideal, but at this stage its premiership battle would be remaining on September 15.

A stacked Saturday, September 15 next year will also feature the Bendigo league preliminary final at the QEO, as well as the Maryborough-Castlemaine District league grand final at Maryborough’s Princes Park.

“We have spoken about this a fair bit and had a think about looking at making a swap, but we’re just going to have to go with it next year,” Watson said.

“We’ve known that this is going to happen and as it stands we’re staying with the Saturday.

“Things can change though and we’re still a long way off the season starting, but at this stage we’re sticking with where we are.”