SIX senior teams have signed up to compete in AFL Central Victoria's "I'm Committed" pre-season tournament to be held over two nights next week at Epsom-Huntly Recreation Reserve.
Bridgewater, Strathfieldsaye, Wedderburn, Eaglehawk, Golden Square and North Bendigo will use the tournament as part of their build-up to the 2021 season and the long-awaited return of AFLCV leagues following last year's cancellation due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The tournament will be played as a round robin format, with teams playing two matches of 15-minute halves each night.
Night one next Wednesday will feature Bridgewater, reigning BFNL premier Strathfieldsaye and Wedderburn playing against each other.
The tournament will conclude next Friday with Eaglehawk, Golden Square and reigning HDFNL premier North Bendigo competing.
Random prizes will be awarded to clubs competing each night, while extended benches will be allowed to increase participation.
The tournament is part of AFLCV's "I'm Committed" campaign launched late last year encouraging all football and netball players, coaches, umpires, volunteers and sponsors to return to their community clubs this year.
"It's vitally important that we reconnect playing groups, coaches, umpires and volunteers to promote both football and netball and bring the absolute joy of being part of a club and sport back in 2021," BFNL manager Cameron Tomlins said on Thursday.
The tournament, which will start at 6.15pm each night, will run under COVID safe protocols.
All attendees will be required to check in at the ground via QR code and must adhere to state government gathering restrictions.
No access will be available to changeroom facilities, with spectators asked to remain in cars and limit non-essential movement where possible.
Only players and pre-approved officials will be allowed access to the arena.
Next week's senior tournament will be the first of a series of AFLCV round robin pre-season fixtures being run for senior and junior football and netball and women's football in the lead-up to competitions starting in April.
AFL Central Victoria 2021 competition starting dates:
Bendigo - April 2 (Strathfieldsaye v Sandhurst season-opener); round one on April 10.
Heathcote District - April 2 (White Hills v Elmore); round one on April 10.
Loddon Valley - April 10.
North Central - April 10.
Golden Rivers - April 17.
Central Murray - April 10 (Koondrook-Barham v Tyntynder season-opener); round one on April 17.
Central Victorian Women - April 11.
Bendigo Juniors - round one to be played over April 23, 24 and 25.
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