An Easter football feast will open the 2021 Optus WAFL Premiership Season, seeing five blockbuster games played across two days, beginning with a double-header on Good Friday, April 2.
The 20-round home-and-away season will be followed by a four-week finals series, with the Optus WAFL Grand Final scheduled to be played on the weekend of September 18 & 19 at a venue to be confirmed.
CLICK HERE to view the 2021 WAFL fixture.
A focus on traditional rivalries and feature rounds will bring excitement across the season, with ANZAC Day, WA Day and NAIDOC Round all set to be celebrated.
West Coast’s return to the Optus WAFL takes the competition to 10 teams, seeing each team play each other twice with three byes across 20 rounds.
Claremont will only need to wait two rounds to avenge their Grand Final heartbreak against South Fremantle, while the Bulldogs will unveil their Premiership Flag in the opening week of the season.
Twenty matches across the season will broadcast live and free on the Seven Network, including the Optus WAFL Grand Final, Optus WAFLW Grand Final and Simply Energy WAFL Colts Grand Final.
The West Australian is committed to live streaming a Simply Energy Colts and Optus WAFL League match per week on their platform.
The WA Football Commission is in ongoing conversations with the SANFL around the possibility of a KIA Australia State Game in early May.
WAFC Executive Manager WAFL & Talent, Scott Baker said players, clubs and fans should be excited ahead of a return to a full Optus WAFL season in 2021.
“The fixture is developed to grow and enhance the WAFL competition, promoting competitive matches, supporting feature rounds and offering prime-time television coverage,” Baker said.
“The 20-round-home-and-away season continues to provide the fairest fixture as well as creating a highly-competitive and exciting state league competition here in WA.”
“Opening the season across the Easter weekend should attract strong crowds, allowing our family friendly audience to experience and enjoy a WAFL match day full of activities.”
“WAFL clubs continue to create a fantastic atmosphere for fans and families, alongside the unique chance to get up close to the action, listen to the coaches and enjoy a kick on the ground at breaks.”
The WAFL will head to the community in 2021, with South Fremantle and West Perth to host games in Pingelly and Yanchep during the season, giving the club’s a great chance to connect with their respective regions.
“Taking football to Pingelly and Yanchep presents a great opportunity for WAFL clubs to connect with their regions and give something back to the communities where many of their players started their football journey,” Baker said.
While the traditional timeslot of Saturday afternoon will be prominent throughout the season, the addition of alternative matchdays supports the ability for the competition to be flexible.
“Playing games across the weekend creates opportunities for the WAFL, including attracting a larger audience, both at the ground and on TV, as well as supporting important initiatives such as WA Day and NAIDOC Week,” Baker said.
“We are committed to be flexible throughout 2021 as we continue to steer our way through the difficulties of the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Optus WAFL Pre-Season fixtures will be played on March 20 and 27.
The Optus WAFL Broadcast schedule on the Seven Network will be released in due course.