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Finals rematch to start SANFL season

Tom Doedee fires off a handball in our SANFL clash with Sturt at Peter Motley Oval   (Photo: Adelaide Crows FC)
Adelaide's 2017 SANFL campaign will kick off against reigning premiers Sturt at Peter Motley Oval

Adelaide will begin its 2017 SANFL campaign in a standalone Sunday afternoon clash with reigning premiers Sturt.

The SANFL Crows head to Unley to confront the Double Blues at Peter Motley Oval on Sunday, April 9 in a blockbuster rematch of this year’s Preliminary Final.

A host of new faces are likely to play their first games for the Club against last season’s victors, who will again be coached by former Crow Martin Mattner and captained dual Magarey Medallist Zane Kirkwood.

The match will also mark new Crows SANFL coach Ryan O’Keefe’s first game at the helm.

Download the full 2017 SANFL Premiership Season Fixture

Adelaide will then head to Encounter Bay, approximately 80 kilometres south of the CBD, on Easter Sunday to tackle South Adelaide in the first of two likely matches in regional communities on the 2017 fixture.

The Crows’ most famous connection with the Great Southern Football League club is through all-time leading goalkicker Tony Modra, who played for several seasons with Encounter Bay after retiring from AFL ranks.

A clash with Glenelg at Bordertown later in the year looms as Adelaide’s other opportunity to take League football to country fans next season. The Round 15 contest against the Tigers is still to be finalised, but is considered likely to be locked in for the weekend of Saturday, July 29.

The first SANFL Showdown of the season in Round Four will be a special event to support Australian Olympic BMX rider and Crows Ambassador Sam Willoughby’s recovery from a serious spinal injury.

The Club will host a range of fundraising initiatives in the lead-up to the match, which will be held at Maughan Thiem Hyundai Oval thanks to the cooperation of the Woodville-West Torrens Football Club, as well as donating all gate takings to Willoughby’s ‘Road 2 Recovery’ fund.

Adelaide returns to the venue the following weekend to take on the Eagles before breaking for a bye in the first of three SANFL split rounds. All clubs have a trio of byes scheduled for the 2017 season through Rounds Five, 10 and 15, but Sturt and Woodville-West Torrens will not be in action in Round Four.

The SANFL Crows confront North Adelaide as part of Indigenous Round in the broadcast match of Round Seven.

Multicultural Month then kicks off in Round Eight, with Adelaide again featured in a telecast clash with Glenelg at Gliderol Stadium.

The second SANFL Showdown is scheduled for Round 12 at Alberton Oval in another Crows broadcast match.

The final round of the home and away season remains a ‘floating fixture’ for all clubs on the weekend of Saturday, August 26. A date and time for Adelaide’s clash with the Panthers will be confirmed by the League later in the year.

Three Friday night games will open the 2017 SANFL season on April 7, a fortnight after the start of the AFL fixture. Seven Friday night matches are on next year’s calendar, up from four in 2016.

The majority of games have returned to the traditional Saturday afternoon timeslot, with one Thursday night match, one Saturday night game and two twilight contests also featured.

Adelaide has drawn 11 Saturday afternoon games, one Saturday twilight match against Norwood on the Queen’s Birthday long weekend, and four Sunday games, with another two dates yet to be finalised.

All 19 televised matches will be shown on Channel Seven’s primary channel in South Australia. Five broadcast games will involve the SANFL Crows, with the first coming in ANZAC Round against Central District at My Money House Oval in Round Three.

The 2017 SANFL finals series kicks off with Elimination & Qualifying Finals on the weekend of Saturday, September 2 at Adelaide Oval.

The SANFL Grand Final is scheduled for Sunday, September 24 - one week before the AFL Grand Final on September 30.

Download Adelaide's 2017 SANFL Fixture

Download Adelaide's combined 2017 AFL/SANFL Fixture

The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of the AFL or its clubs