Local rivalries will kick off the Riddell District Football Netball League season next year.

After having the opening round split over multiple weekends and days the past few years, all sides will start their season on April 6.

Reigning premiers Diggers Rest will host Rupertswood, Macedon and Riddell will play for the ‘PUKA UP Cup’ for a second straight year, Lancefield will play Woodend-Hesket, Rockbank and Melton Centrals will do battle and Wallan hosts Broadford.

Romsey has a bye in the opening round, with the departure of the Sunbury Kangaroos leaving the competition with 11 teams.

There will be no games on the Easter weekend or interleague weekend on May 18, but the competition will return to having matches on Queen’s Birthday.

Highlight matches include the annual Anzac Day clash between Macedon and Rupertswood, Romsey’s Pink Day on May 11 and Woodend-Hesket hosting Macedon for the Bill Tunn Cup in found five.

Fans won’t have to wait long for the grand final rematch between Diggers Rest and Riddell, with the game coming in round two.

Woodend-Hesket won’t host a home game until round five with upgrades happening at its home ground, Gilbert Gordon Oval.

The season will be played over 18 rounds, with each team playing 16 games.

Despite one less team in the competition, the finals structure will stay at a final six.

Grand final day will be Sunday September 15.