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VFL fixture released

BTV: VFL | 2018 Fixture announced We caught up with VFL Coach Dan Jordan to discuss the 2018 VFL Fixture.

The 2018 VFL fixture has been released and Essendon Football Club’s VFL side will not play a home match until round five next year.

Coach Dan Jordan said he was not concerned about the start to the year and saw the fixture in a positive light.

“It makes it better in the back half of the year,” Jordan said.

The team is set to play a double-header with the VFLW Bombers at RAMS Arena in Craigieburn on June 30, and Jordan said he was excited to see the women’s team join the club.

“It’s terrific, there is a really good buzz around the club with them coming on board,” he said.

“It’s going to be fantastic for the club to have them entering the VFLW competition.”

The Bombers will play key opponents Collingwood, Footscray, Northern Blues and Geelong twice each, highlighted by the traditional Anzac clash with the Magpies in round three.

Essendon fought out three thrilling battles with the Bulldogs last season with each contest going down to the wire. Essendon won by five points in round 18, but fell agonisingly short in round eight and the elimination final by four and five points respectively.

“We’ve got a great rivalry with Footscray,” Jordan said.

“(We’re) hoping to continue that sort of style of football and hopefully we can come away with a few more wins.”

Jordan said the contests against the Bulldogs and other leading contenders such as Williamstown in round two provide his side with an opportunity to thrive and develop into a contender.

“We want to be up against the best, so we can prepare ourselves hopefully to play some finals footy.”

Former AFL Bomber Heath Hocking recently committed to play for the VFL side to continue to develop the team’s younger brigade, and Jordan said he would play a crucial role in the squad next year.

“To have his experience and someone like him around our young guys in the VFL group will be invaluable.”

While Hocking only played two senior games in 2017, his form in the VFL was exceptional.

“He won the best and fairest last year and that was while playing some AFL games, so if he can continue anywhere near that form then he will a huge asset for us,” Jordan said.

“But it is more his leadership and what he is going to provide to our young group that I’m really excited about.”