The West

Western derby to kick off season
Western derby to kick off season

WA footy's biggest rivalry will start early next year with Fremantle and West Coast to meet in round one of the 2013 AFL season.

Adelaide will host Essendon in the opening match on Friday March 22 with the Dockers and Eagles to go head-to-head at Patersons Stadium the following night.

The AFL has again opted to split the opening round, which will also feature a Richmond-Carlton clash on Thursday March 28 at the MCG.

The last time Adelaide hosted the opening game of the premiership season was in 1991 - the club's first year in the competition.

The league's broadcasting manager Simon Lethlean said the split round was designed to accommodate as many blockbuster clash as possible to highlight the start of a new AFL season.

"Scheduling opening round over two weeks enables us to showcase the start of the season on Friday and Saturday night in SA and WA in week one and then schedule the remainder of the matches over Easter in the second week, which will maximise exposure opportunities for the commencement of ... the season," Lethlean told

Only four matches have been revealed with Geelong and Hawthorn to close out the split round on Monday April 1.

The West Australian

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