THE AFL has today released the official 2019 National Under-18 Championships fixture, which combines both existing and new elements. The five round competition which sees Vic Metro, Vic Country, South Australia, Western Australia and the Allies – a combined team from Queensland, New South Wales/Australian Capital Territory, Northern Territory and Tasmania – compete for the annual title, features two matches in Western Australia, two in South Australia, one in Tasmania and the traditional five in Victoria.
As has been the case of recent times, the two Victorian sides will meet in Round 2 when they clash at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) on June 1. The match between the top Victorian Under-18 talents will serve as a curtain raiser to the Collingwood and Fremantle match. Despite being a Round 2 match, the game actually opens the championships, with the Western Australia and South Australian game at Optus Stadium on June 15. Round 1 will take place on the weekend of June 8-9 with Vic Metro travelling to Western Australia, and Vic Country clashing with the Allies in Launceston.
Round 3 features a double-header at Alberton Oval in South Australia, before all teams reconvene in Victoria for the final two rounds. The five-day break between Round 4 at GMHBA Stadium, Geelong and Round 5 at Marvel Stadium has become a regular feature of the fixture.
Other matches to feature the top Australian young talent sees the top-agers (eligible for the 2019 National AFL Draft) matching it against Victorian Football League (VFL) side, Casey Demons at the MCG as a curtain raiser to the Melbourne and St Kilda game at the venue. The most talented bottom-age players (eligible for the 2020 National AFL Draft) face the New Zealand Hawks – the country’s senior team.
In another new feature, Tasmania has become a full-time team in the Victorian Under-18 boys competition (formerly TAC Cup) this year, while the four northern academies (Brisbane, Gold Coast, GWS GIANTS and Sydney) and Northern Territory and NSW/ACT will compete in the first half of the season as a way of determining the Allies’ squad for the championships.
NAB AFL Academy fixture
Saturday, April 20 – Australia U18 v Casey Demons, MCG, 1.20pm
Saturday, April 27 – Australia U17 v New Zealand Hawks, Marvel Stadium, 1.20pm
NAB AFL Under-18 Championships fixture
Saturday, June 8 – WA v Vic Metro, WAFL venue, 10am
Sunday, June 9 – Allies v Vic Country, Launceston, 1.30pm
(Bye – South Australia)
Saturday, June 15 – WA v SA, Optus Stadium, 11am
Saturday, June 1 – Vic Metro v Vic Country, MCG, 11.20am
(Bye – Allies)
Saturday, June 22 – Allies v WA, Alberton Oval, 10.45am
Saturday, June 22 – SA v Vic Metro, Alberton Oval, 1.10pm
(Bye – Vic Country)
Friday, June 28 – Vic Metro v Allies, GMHBA Stadium, 2.10pm
Friday, June 28 – Vic Country v SA, GMHBA Stadium, 4.40pm
(Bye – WA)
Wednesday, July 3 – Vic Country v WA, Marvel Stadium, 2.10pm
Wednesday, July 3 – SA v Allies, Marvel Stadium, 4.40pm
(Bye – Vic Metro)