Editorial: Finals on our doorstep

Posted on - VAFA News

Jason Reddick

The anxiety levels will have risen again at many clubs this week as we enter the last round of home and away games for our Divisional Women’s teams and Men’s Thirds teams.

The traditional relegation and promotion battles will come to a climax, with information on results circulating around as most Clubs will learn their fate by 5pm Saturday night.

For the teams that make the finals, the excitement of participating in finals and the possibilities that brings, puts an extra spring into everyone’s step around the Club.

The first finals to be played next weekend will be headlined by the Women’s Thirds Grand Final between Kew and West Brunswick. Scheduled to be played at 2pm on Sunday 20th August at Elsternwick Park, both sides have been strong throughout the season and this promises to be a great contest.

The next six weeks is an enormous workload for the VAFA to manage, with 136 finals games to manage across 35 sections.

As per 2022, all Men’s Thirds semi finals and all Division 1-4 Under 19 semi finals, will be played at the home ground of the highest placed team.

All other finals are scheduled to be played at a neutral venue and we are pleased to have secured quality grounds for this purpose.

Following the dramas of the storm that turned the ground into a quagmire in the 2022 Premier B Men’s Grand Final, Bayside City Council have done significant work to ensure that Elsternwick Park will be in great shape to host the majority of our finals, culminating in the William Buck Premier Women’s Grand Final on Sunday 17th September, followed by the William Buck Premier Premier Men’s Grand Final on Sunday 24th September.

The other tier one venue in Bayside, Trevor Barker Oval in Sandringham, has also been secured, along with fellow state league ground, Coburg City Oval (Piranha Park) in Coburg.

In addition for this year, we are pleased to announce that Box Hill City Oval, used by Hawthorn’s state league teams, will return to host VAFA finals, along with the traditional Bill Lawry Oval in Northcote.

Complimenting these grounds, we are most grateful to Whitefriars FC (Whitefriars College), Old Paradians FC (Garvey Oval) and De La Salle (Waverley Oval) for access to their venues.

Our staff have done a reconnaissance of all these venues and thanks to the unseasonal warm and dry effects of El Nino that has kicked in this year, and the lack of incessant winter rain periods, all venues are in great shape to host these finals matches.

Providing premium playing and spectator experiences during finals is one of our Strategic Goals and we believe, in an extremely crowded and competitive market, that we have secured the appropriate grounds and venues to showcase our VAFA finals series for 2023.

To all those, players, coaches, teams and Clubs involved, we remind you to abide by the Competition’s code of conduct at all times, be respectful of everyone, and enjoy the experience in true amateur spirit.