Football fans will be feeling the love as NPL Victoria kicks off in 2019 on Valentines Day. The 2019 fixture is now live and available to view.
Defending premier and champion Heidelberg United will open the season at home ground Olympic Village on Thursday February 14 with a match against Pascoe Vale.
The fixture release comes off the back of landmark collaboration between NPL Victoria clubs and Football Victoria's football operations team.
A live fixture draw was held in November 2018 to determine each team's placement in the fixture pattern. The optimal model was used for a 14-team league, with clubs drawn at random a number between 1 and 14.
NPL Victoria top division clubs then met to discuss reversing their home-and-away meetings, with venue availability the primary driver of needing to switch hosting rights. Clubs were not permitted to move out of the fixture pattern, only to switch the home-and-away match with an opponent if both clubs agreed.
Football Victoria CEO Peter Filopoulos applauded the spirit of collaboration between the NPL Victoria clubs for taking part in an exercise designed to significantly reduce the amount of time and administrative effort needed to produce the fixture.
"Football is a game driven by clubs and the work of the state's Premier clubs here speaks for itself," Mr Filopoulos said.
"The collaboration between FV's football operations department and the NPL Victoria clubs has delivered a transparent, fair and ultimately exciting fixture that will have all lovers of football looking forward to the coming season.
"Football Victoria is an organisation that has an obsession with its clubs and the efficiency with which these clubs have worked with each other, and Football Victoria's staff, is a shining example of the outcomes that can be achieved when all stakeholders are united with a collective purpose."
The NPL Victoria NPL 2 and NPL Victoria Women's fixtures will be released at a later date.
NPL Victoria 2019 - Key Details
Victoria's premier football competition returns in the same format as recent seasons, with a full 26 round home-and-away season and a top six finals series.
The premier and second-placed teams will receive a first round finals bye, with elimination finals to be played 3v6 and 4v5. The lowest seeded elimination final winner will advance to play the league premier in the semi-finals, with the other winner to play against second place.
The 13th and 14th-placed teams will be relegated at the end of the season, while the 12th-placed team will go into a promotion-relegation playoff. The playoff opponent will be determined by a match between the second-placed finishers in NPL 2 East and West.
The NPL Victoria Grand Final will be played as part of a triple header with the promotion-relegation playoff and NPL Victoria Women's Grand Final on the weekend of Sunday September 15, with full details to be confirmed.
Fixture details for the Football Victoria Community Shield - to be contested by Heidelberg United and Dockerty Cup holders Bentleigh Greens - will be released at a later date. The match will be held on or prior to the weekend of February 9-10, 2018.
See fixture details at www.nplvic.com.au
The format of NPL Victoria will undergo changes at the season's conclusion as part of the Men's & Boys' Football Review - see the details here.