AFL Victoria has today released the 2018 TAC Cup fixture.
The 12 regions will each play 16 home-and-away games, with six Development Weekends without any TAC Cup fixtures across the 2018 season, plus a split Round 12 with three games to be played each weekend.
The 2018 TAC Cup season will kick off on March 24, with Round 1 to be the first of three straight weekends on which teams will only face off against fellow Country or Metro teams. TAC Cup matches will be played in regional venues in Albury, Colac, Frankston, Healesville and Shepparton across the season.
Two Country triple-headers will be held across the season, in Round 3 at Bendigo’s Queen Elizabeth Oval and Round 15 at Ballarat’s MARS Stadium. A Metro triple-header will also be played in Round 15, with Werribee’s Avalon Airport Oval to host; part of eight games to be played at the ground in 2018.
TAC Cup Rounds 10-11, which take place in the middle of the U18 Championships, will be deemed ‘Futures Rounds’ to highlight the up-and-coming talent on TAC Cup club lists that will be given extra chances to shine in the absence of their national-representative teammates.
In a major change for the 2018 season, a Wildcard Round will be introduced prior to finals to provide players across all clubs an extra development opportunity. The top four teams will earn a week off, with a wildcard round set to decide the remaining four finalists with teams placed four to eight matched against the ninth to twelfth placed teams. A three-week finals series will then begin on the weekend of September 8 / 9, following the elimination final format that was introduced in 2017.
2018 NAB AFL U18 Championships Division 1 games will be played from the weekend of June 9 / 10 to Wednesday July 4. As in 2017, Vic Country and Vic Metro will play four games each, with Metro having a bye in Round 4 of the Championships and Country having the bye in the final game, Round 5. The two teams will meet in Round 4 of the U18 Championships on Sunday June 24.
* CLICK HERE to see the 2018 TAC Cup fixture.