The season starts for the Big Rivers Football League next Friday with two new teams.
The total number of men's teams will now be eight.
The Arnhem Crows, hailing from Barunga, disbanded following their 2011 premiership and have re-established themselves, training since December in preparation.
Further south, the Northern Warlpiri Swans will make the journey from Lajamanu each week, a round trip of more than 1100km, as a newly formed club off the back of the community's successful local competition during the wet season.
Both teams submitted strong applications, and the respective communities are extremely excited and proud to be represented in the competition this year.
Each team in the men's competition will play 12 games across 16 rounds, and with the installation of lights due to be complete for Barunga at the start of June there is the possibility to fixture night matches there in the later part of the season.
For the first time, Round 1's traditional Anzac clash at Tindal RAAF Base will include a women's match.
On Saturday, April 27 an Anzac ceremony will take place, and RAAF members will participate in both men's and women's matches.
With a healthy appetite for more competitive football, the second year of the women's competition is set for 15 rounds of full-field matches.
Three teams have formed full squads for 2019 and are scheduled to play 10 games each.
The women's grand final rematch between the Katherine Camels and Eastside Blues will take place in Round 2, while the highly anticipated men's grand final rematch of the Eastside Blues and Katherine South Crocs will be the highlight of Round 6.
Clubs' men and women will play back-to-back games with five nights exclusively involving the same two clubs, allowing volunteers to better assist in the one spot and supporters to enjoy more of their club's footy action.
As the BRFL continues to become more accessible to remote players, a total of three rounds will be played in Jilkminggan and Barunga, with clubs having the ability to engage players from communities that are not currently participating in the competition.
The introduction of Thursday night matches is another new feature in the 2019 BRFL fixture, enabling games to be played leading into long weekends, and increasing the number of playing rounds to 16 before the finals commence in September.
The season will culminate for both men's and women's competitions on Saturday, September 21 and will include a carnival for teams not currently participating in the BRFL.
AFLNT regional development manager for Katherine, Julie Hunter, said it was going to be an action-packed 2019 BRFL season.
"It's really pleasing to have two more teams join the men's competition and represent their regions, and it's also great to see the interest in the women's game continues to grow, which has far reaching affects for the whole region.
"We'll have some more theme rounds to announce a little later but we're really pleased to commence the season with our annual ANZAC clash and ceremony."
2019 BRFL season key dates:
Start: Friday, April 26 - Anzac clash: Round 1, Saturday, April 27 (annual event including Anzac ceremony)
Remote Round: Round 5 Saturday and Sunday, May 25 and 26.
Tindal AFL Day: Round 11, Saturday, July 27.
Best and fairest award ceremony: Monday, September 16.
Grand final: Saturday, September 21 (women's and men's grand finals. Carnival for remote teams throughout the day.)
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