Spotswood will open the 2018 Western Region Football League division 1 season on home soil against Wyndhamvale at McLean Reserve on April 14.

The Woodsmen will face both of last year’s grand finalists, Deer Park and Sunshine, along with trips to Altona and Hoppers Crossing in a tough opening five rounds.

Altona has drawn the short straw, facing reigning premiers Deer Park on the day it will unfurl its fifth flag of its ongoing dynasty.

The Vikings have the most daunting early season draw of any team with games against last year’s grand finalists, both on the road, in the opening three rounds.

There is going to be no respite for the Vikings at home either with a rivalry game against Spotswood wedged in between for their home opener in round two.

If nothing else, Altona will get a chance to gauge where it is at early in the season.

In a bulked up division 2, which now has eight teams with the addition of Point Cook and the elimination of the bye, North Footscray will begin its premiership defence at home in a grand final re-match with Yarraville-Seddon.

Yarraville-Seddon’s first home game will be against newly promoted Parkside in the second week.

Parkside, last year’s division 3 premiers, will host Albanvale in its first game back in the second tier, while West Footscray has a home game against Newport Power.

The Power’s home opener will come in round two when it entertains newcomer Point Cook, which transferred its senior teams from the Victorian Amateur Football Association to the WRFL in the off season.