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Round 1 comes early to Steel Blue Oval

Tuesday, June 23, 2020 - 11:13 AM by Matthew Ogg

The start date for the 2020 Optus WAFL Premiership Season has been brought forward to July 18 following yesterday’s State Government announcement that COVID-19 group gathering restrictions are scheduled to be completely lifted on this date.

WAFC Executive Manager - WAFL & Football Operations Scott Baker said that the State Government announcement paved the way for WAFL and WAFLW games to start on July 18 without any restrictions on crowd size, which was a driving factor for the competition and clubs.

“The opportunity to get games going sooner with no limit on spectators is great news for the WAFL and WAFLW clubs, players and fans,” he said.

Round one will see a battle of the birds, with Swan Districts meeting arch-rivals West Perth at Steel Blue Oval.

Having won one game each, by 8 and 9 goals respectively last season, the Swans will be looking to make the most of the home ground advantage against the Falcons, hoping to kick off the 2020 season with a perfect start.

League coach, Adam Pickering, says it is great to start the season off at home, especially now that fans will be allowed to fill the stands.

“The players really love playing in front of their home crowd because they are so into the game and fully entrenched in what’s going on” he said.

“Being comfortable at home and knowing the surroundings, we are hopeful our supporters will turn out in droves and wind back the clock to what the WAFL crowds used to be.

“I implore everyone that supports the Swans, and even West Perth, to get down there for that first round.”

As an added bonus for fans and players alike, the opening round of the season will also see key backman and 2019 Jack Hickling ‘Most Outstanding Player’ winner, Alex Howard, play his 150th game for the Swans, reaching a significant milestone and earning a title that many players covet.

“Ever since I started, I just wanted to play as many games as possible for the club’ he said. ‘To gain life membership at Swan Districts means everything to me.’

While the Coronavirus pandemic has been a challenging time, the club is grateful for the loyalty and support from their members, fans, sponsors, players and staff, and look forward to seeing everyone in their black and white gear at Steel Blue Oval again soon.

The women’s first round fixture is yet to be revealed, so stay tuned to our website as we keep you updated on all things WAFL and WAFLW.