Five unmissable games in 2018

170708_MURDOCH_00707 (3)

Hosting the reigning premiers in Round 4 is one of a number of big Northern Blues games in 2018. (PHOTO CREDIT: Tim Murdoch)

Just over two months remain before the Northern Blues and the rest of the VFL competition mount their claim in 2018.

With the evenness of the competition going up another gear last season, there will be no shortage of crucial and must-see games for the Blues.

Here are five matches of Northern’s that you can’t afford to miss.

Missed the fixture announcement for season 2018? We’ve got you covered.

Round 1 vs. Collingwood
Saturday, April 7 — Preston City Oval, 2pm

You won’t have to wait long for one of the biggest games of the season if you’re a Northern Blues fan, as they kick their year off against the Magpies at Preston. Taking place the day after the AFL teams do battle on a Friday night, the stakes are already high enough when these two rivals meet: this time, it’ll be with the added bonus of getting their respective campaigns off to the best possible start.

Round 4 vs. Port Melbourne
Saturday, April 28 — Preston City Oval, 2pm

The Blues get their one and only clash with the reigning premiers out of the way early in the piece, hosting the Borough at Preston the weekend after ANZAC Day. Entering 2018, it will make it eight years since Northern have gotten one over Port, and they’ll be desperate to make an impression against the 2017 champions. It’s one of a number of key games which will shape the Blues’ year.

Round 7 vs. Box Hill
Saturday, May 19 — Box Hill City Oval, 2pm

This match is must-see, two-fold. After the disappointment of the final round last year, the Blues will be out to make things right against the Hawks when they head to Box Hill City Oval. However, the game will take on even greater meaning for the club: Tom Wilson is in line to play his 100th match for the club. It’ll be at the same place and against the same team as his 50th game, and he’ll be the first Blue to achieve the milestone since his mate Brent Bransgrove two years ago.

Round 8 vs. Essendon
Saturday, May 26 — Ikon Park, 2pm

For the first time since their return to the competition, the Blues will host Essendon in the VFL at Ikon Park in what will also be the first game on Royal Parade this year. It’ll also see the Blues out for their first win over their VFL Bombers since they went standalone in the competition in 2013. The two sides clash twice in 2018 as one of four double-up fixtures each club has: they’ll battle it out in the final game of the year at Windy Hill.

Round 15 vs. Williamstown
Sunday, July 15 — Preston City Oval, 2pm

Another one of the four Preston games which the Blues will host this season, the clash with the Seagulls will be the second meeting between the two sides in 2018. Earmarked as the club’s Past Players’ Day, the Blues got one over the Seagulls last year at Cramer Street and will be out to repeat the dose.