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The stage is set

Wednesday, 11th April, 2012

SET TO GO: Groundsman Allan Tucker sets the boundary lines at the improved Jubilee Oval in readiness for Saturday’s first A-grade round of season 2012. SET TO GO: Groundsman Allan Tucker sets the boundary lines at the improved Jubilee Oval in readiness for Saturday’s first A-grade round of season 2012.

 By Balldock

The 2012 football season starts this weekend with round one set down as the season’s only Double Header to be played at League Headquarters, the revitalised Jubilee Oval.

While the season will officially start on Friday night with the West and Central reserves doing battle, it is Saturday that holds the interest for the fans with local football now coming under the AFL Broken Hill banner.

Football as we knew it will take on a whole new format, but this will come into effect in round two. 

Saturday is the season opener and what a way to kick off the new season. It is common knowledge that North and South are arch rivals, from opposite sides of the hill and all that, but truth be known, they hate each other’s guts on the field.

It doesn’t matter where they are on the ladder, each contest is played like no other. Neither like losing to the other and Saturday will be no exception. In fact it will have a little more spice than normal. 

The Bulldogs go into round one as the reigning premier after defeating South in the 2011 grand final. South have already made their intentions clear for 2012 - premierships in League and Reserves. Anything else will be a failure and not acceptable. 

Both sides are riddled with star players and I expect them to come out firing from the opening bounce.

North will unveil prized recruit Jackson McInnes while everybody is looking forward to watching South’s Billy Dolan play after a excellent pre-season. 

This should be a cracker of a game and a great start to the season. This game is set to start at 1pm.  

The second game of the afternoon will see Central up against West. This game also holds plenty of interest as it will give supporters and football followers in general a glimpse of what to expect in 2012. Both had disappointing 2011 seasons and better results are expected this year. 

Again the heat should be on from the opening bounce as each team will be looking to gain the upper hand early. The Magpies will welcome back Paul Christie and Cohen Sulicich, while the Robins will play Jarrah Maksymon and twinkled toed Riley McGuiness. 

Both sides will be looking for a first up win and that should make for a great contest and one that could go either way. 

Meanwhile, with the proposed Miners Cup game scheduled for June 2, the players will have seven weeks to perform and catch the eye of the selectors.

The Jubilee Oval has again had a little face-lift in the off season with a new fence along Silver Street and a coat of paint in different areas. But the biggest change is to the interchange boxes. Patrons who are yet to see them will be pleasantly surprised with the AFL style boxes. 

While some changes are evident the real changes won’t be seen until round two of the season. That’s when the competition will take on a whole new look.

Round two at the Jubilee Oval will be West up against South and the day will start at the Jube at 9.30am with the Under 13s doing battle. This will be followed by the Under 15s at 11.05am.

Off the field it will be gala day atmosphere with the odd barbecue and sponsors’ flags flying and hundreds of parents supporting their youngsters. 

Clubs will also hold their raffles and it should be a great way to spend your Saturday. 

The afternoon’s activities begin at 12.45pm with the Reserves getting underway before the League game at 2.30pm. Football like we have never seen it. I can’t wait. 

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