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Andrew Leonard

Division 1 was a tale of two halves in 2012 but as always with amateur football the influx of new teams are sure to change the dynamic of the section.
The VAFA Football Operations department have confirmed that this is a draft fixture only and the fixture is still subject to change, so don’t start your preseason spying on your round 1 opponent just yet. 

Reviewing a team’s first six matches of the season is done based on the number of home games and difficultly of the opposition to be faced home and away based on the form of last year. 
At this stage of the year it is opinion only with very little evidence to go on other than last year’s form and the expectations of improvement that all clubs have at this time of the year. 
The season will start on 13th April with no obvious favourites in any of the scheduled matches. 
Here is how the season will start: 

  • Hampton Rovers will be striving for their first win in a year when they host Ormond at Boss James
  • MHSOB will have a stiff challenge at home from newly promoted Prahran Assumption 
  • Old Mentonians will host Williamstown CYMS 
  • Whitefriars will also have a tough test away against reigning Division 2 Premiers Bulleen-Templestowe
  • Glen Eira have another crack in this section and commence against preliminary finalist Old Geelong; and 
  • The Division 2 Grand Final rematch will be in round 9 when Bulleen-Templestowe host Prahran Assumption. 

With a dream start earning you an A+ the pressure to make the most of the draw is on from round 1. 
Of course injuries and player signings and departures can still happen between now and April 13 but here is an attempt to assess where your team sits for the first six matches of 2013. 
BULLEEN-TEMPLESTOWE: Home to 2012 finalists Whitefriars in round 1 as well as Hampton Rovers and Ormond with tough road matches against Williamstwon CYMS, MHSOB and Glen Eira. Many teams should be familiar as they were last here only two years ago. B
GLEN EIRA: Will be happy to start at home against Old Geelong, then are away to Ormond before entertaining MHSOBs at Packer Reserve. On the road to Prahran Assumption and Hampton Rovers before hosting Division 2 premiers Bulleen Templestowe. Certainly have the opportunity to do well early. B
HAMPTON ROVERS: Commence the year with a home match against Ormond before two weeks of travel to the newly promoted sides Bulleen -Templestowe and Prahran Assumption. Return back to Boss James for Williamstown and Glen Eira before a road trip to Old Mentonians. Plenty of opportunities for a good start. B+
MHSOB: Both promoted sides will visit the High School with Old Mentonians the others to face the Unicorns at home. Away in round 2 and 3 to Whitefriars and Glen Eira plus a stroll down to Como in round 6 to face Old Geelong means that MHSOBs should be gunning for a positive record in the opening weeks. B+
OLD GEELONG: Away to Glen Eira in week one which is followed by a double helping of home games against Old Mentonians and Whitefriars. Away to Ormond and Williamstown CYMS in successive weeks before hosting MHSOB. Road trips are difficult but should be a positive start for one of the section favourites. A
OLD MENTONIANS: Commence at home with Williamstown CYMS before a trip to Como Park. Prahran Assumption and Hampton Rovers are the other sides to visit but round 4 and 5 are on the road to to Whitefriars and MHSOB. Need to be on their game early for this draw.C+
ORMOND: Alternate away and home to start the year with Glen Eira and the two finalists from last year Old Geelong and Whitefirars to visit E E Gunn Reserve. Away trips to Hampton Rovers, Williamstown CYMS and Bulleen-Templestowe making this one of the more challenging starts in the section. C
PRAHRAN ASSUMPTION: Away to MHSOB to launch their bid for a third straight promotion before Hampton Rovers visit in round 2. Away to Old Mentonians with two home matches at Toorak Park to follow with Glen Eira and Whitefriars the visitors. Over the Westgate in round 6 as they visit the CYs. Should be optimistic about prospects. A
WHITEFRIARS: Only at home twice in the first half dozen with MHSOB and Old Mentonians to visit in rounds 2 and 4. That leaves tricky road trips to Bulleen Templestowe, Old Geelong, Prahran Assumption and Ormond. Not ideal but win a couple of these and the Friars will have belief this could be their year. C 
WILLIAMSTOWN CYMS: It doesn’t get much better than four home games in the opening six. Away in round 1 to Old Mentonians and again in round 4 to Hampton rovers but this is sandwiched between a brace of home games against Bulleen-Templestowe and Ormond before Old Geelong and Prahran Assumption visit. Opposition tricky but home games the key. A+
Agree or disagree with the assessment of your first six then tweet @LennyVAFA to make your case for a change of grade and include the hashtag #vafafixture or #vafadiv1. 
The full fixture for Division 1 will be released after the VAFA’s AGM next Monday 3 December 2012.