The Gold Coast SUNS will open its 2023 Smithy’s VFL campaign with back-to-back home matches.
The SUNS kick-start their campaign against Williamstown on Saturday, March 25 on the Austworld Centre Oval (12.05pm first bounce) before a VFL/AFL double header against Geelong at Metricon Stadium on Sunday, April 2 (10.25am VFL, 2.10pm AFL).
The fixture was officially released on Thursday afternoon and includes the full schedule for Rounds 1-14 of the 2023 Smithy’s VFL season, along with match ups and venues for the remaining eight rounds.
The home and away season will consist of 22 rounds, with each of the 21 teams to play 18 matches and have four byes.
The SUNS will face both fellow Queensland VFL teams in 2023 with a Preliminary Final re-match against Southport Sharks at Fankhauser Reserve in Round 7 & a QClash against the Brisbane Lions in Round 19.
The club’s four byes fall in Rounds 4, 12, 17 and 20.
“2023 shapes as a huge year for the Smithy’s VFL and rebel VFLW competitions as we build on the success of last year, where we were able to complete seasons and award premierships for the first time since 2019,” AFL Head of State League Competitions Jennie Loughnan said.
“The Smithy's VFL is the largest football competition in Australia. With the men’s and women’s season dates aligning more closely this year, developing the fixtures for both competitions has been a significant undertaking. We are grateful for the patience and support that has been displayed by all stakeholders.
“The fixtures aim to maximise the opportunity for clubs to host double-headers featuring their men’s and women’s teams, with more than 30 double-headers scheduled. This is a big win for clubs and fans.
“We have also worked closely with AFL-aligned clubs to align AFL and VFL fixtures for those clubs involved in both competitions, where possible.
“By delivering the scheduling for the first 14 rounds of the Smithy’s VFL season and the first 13 rounds of the rebel VFLW season, we are able to provide greater certainty to clubs and fans this year, with remaining rounds to be locked in once the AFL fixture is confirmed.”