The Women’s Premier League 2020 season fixtures have been revealed, after Northern NSW Football unveiled the full list of matches on Monday.
A grand final rematch between defending premiers and champions New Lambton, and championship runners-up Merewether is penned in for the very first round of the year, with the two titan clubs to meet on Sunday, March 8.
The matchday itself will start two days earlier, however, in a break from the norm for the northern competition, as newcomers Broadmeadow begin life in the Premier League with a home game at Magic Park against Warners Bay on Friday night.
The league’s second new squadron, Newcastle Olympic—who took control of Wallsend’s women’s program on December 12—will also face a tricky opening match as they head north for the long away trip to face Football Mid North Coast.
The Adamstown Rosebuds round out the opening round as they welcome the Thornton Redbacks to No.1 Oval for a 3pm kick-off, as the league moves away from last season’s four 2.30pm Sunday timeslots each gameday weekend.
NNSWF’s football operations manager Liam Bentley, who was involved in the fixture development process and heralded the release of all three of the governing body’s premier leagues, said there was plenty to look forward to straight off the bat.
“The season looks to start with some cracking games with Grand Final rematches kicking off in all three leagues,” he said. “Merewether United [especially] are out to prove a point against last year’s double-winners New Lambton in the WPL.”
Bentley also confirmed the league’s “final matchday drama” would again play out in the final rounds of each league, with NNSWF deciding to keep the simultaneous kick-offs for the Premier League heading into 2020.
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The new season will also see a finals format shift for the first time in years, with Northern looking to give “higher stakes” for every single postseason match in the Premier League, and all their top-flight competitions in the region.
The WPL will see the top four teams contest a three-week finals series, with “each match resulting in progression or elimination.” The hope, Bentley said, was to give “bigger rewards” to teams finishing higher on the ladder.
The Women’s Premier League will also be televised again, with select matches from certain rounds being shown live by BarTV Sports in a continued partnership agreement between the grassroots broadcaster and Northern NSW Football.
See the league’s full fixture list and kick-off times here.