Echuca will have to wait until May to meet Rochester but have secured a home game on the Easter weekend to open season 2017 in the Goulburn Valley Football League.
That will be on Saturday, April 15 against Euroa at Victoria Park — at the twilight start time of 4pm.
The Murray Bomber-Tigers derby will take place twice — on May 27 and August 19 with the first at Moon Oval.
Echuca club president Brett Stevens seemed happy with how it all turned out, including a bit of a wait until the first clash with Rochester.
‘‘It’ll be a good crowd-puller,’’ he said.
‘‘And the second-last game at home (too), which is really good for us.’’
Stevens said the Murray Bombers had also intended their season opener be at 4pm to capitalise on Easter weekend travellers.
‘‘We thought a late afternoon game might give visitors time to have lunch in town and support local restaurants and then come down and watch the footy and support local sport.’’
The remaining Echuca matches include a midseason night game at Victoria Park — again against a Shepparton-based opponent (this time the Swans), as well as hosting reigning champions Kyabram, Shepparton Bears, Seymour, Benalla and Mooroopna.
Stevens considered it to be a good selection of opponents for home fans to see.
‘‘We’re really happy with it,’’ he said.
‘‘And they’ve got a rotating draw, which means over a three-year period you’ll play each team on an equal basis.’’
To warm up for the new season, the Murray Bombers have been working on securing at least two practice games.
At this stage, Stevens said the club was hopeful of welcoming Sandhurst and Golden Square from the Bendigo league in late March and early April, respectively.
Other notable aspects of the GV draw are four Sunday matches, nine games at night or twilight and a night final for week one of the six-team finals series.
The year will start in earnest on Good Friday night between Shepparton Bears and Shepparton United, and there will also be a Sunday Anzac commemoration match on April 23 between Seymour and Mansfield.
Seymour has also indicated it will plan to honour Vietnam Veterans in round 18 against Euroa.
GVFL chairman David Roff was pleased with how the fixture came together and that clubs worked to accommodate its major features.
“In 2015 clubs voted in favour of a rolling fixture over three years, with 2017 being the second season of this format,” he said.
“Clubs then have the ability to negotiate game times, which has led to some exciting variations (this season).’’
Interleague will be played on May 13 against arch-rivals Ovens and Murray, while round 16 will be a split leading into the finals.
The grand final will be played at Shepparton’s Deakin Reserve on Sunday, September 24.