Football Victoria (FV) have revealed the NPL’s top-flite 2020 fixture, highlighted by a cracking opening round on several fronts.
2019 finalists Oakleigh Cannons FC and last year’s runner’s up Avondale FC kick-the season off on Thursday night (February 13, 2020) before two Friday night matches 24-hours later (February 14).
One of those matches is a classic derby between South Melbourne FC and 2019 premiers Heidelberg United FC. The other Friday night fixture sees Port Melbourne Sharks SC welcome Melbourne Knights FC to open their respective seasons.
Saturday (February 15) sees the Dandenong derby when Dandenong Thunder FC hosts Dandenong City SC. Across town, Hume City FC takes on Altona Magic SC as both seek to open their accounts.
On Sunday (February 16), NPL senior newcomer Eastern Lions SC, faces a baptism of fire when it hosts 2019 Champions Bentleigh Greens SC. Round 1 is completed with the other newly promoted club, St Albans Saints SC, at home to Green Gully SC.
FV CEO Peter Filopoulos said he was eagerly anticipating next year’s elite competition with two new clubs in the mix and several mainstay NPL clubs hoping to dramatically improve on their 2019 performances.
“The NPL in Victoria is clearly a destination competition in Australia which delivers a very high standard of football week-in week-out,” Mr Filopoulos said.
“The competition’s popularity went to another level last year with all games live-streamed and averaging around 30,000 viewers per round. The triple-header Grand Final event also drew more than 110,000 viewers on that one day alone,” he said.
The fixture’s release, including the U20s draw, followed considerable collaboration between NPL Victoria’s clubs and Football Victoria's operations team.
A live fixture draw was held earlier this month to determine each team's placement in the fixture pattern. NPL Victoria’s 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.
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.
See full fixture details at https://ftbl.vc/35HsXqQ