Blockbusters galore in a jam-packed 2023 season fixture
Good Friday Football in Port Douglas will kick off a massive season of AFL Cairns, with the league today releasing the Official 2023 Season Fixture.
North Cairns will head up to the Crocpit for the season opener on April 7, with the remaining games of round one taking place on the 15th of April.
The Cairns City Lions will begin their campaign for a third consecutive Senior Premiership with a matchup against last year’s Preliminary finalists, the Cairns Saints. Playing at home, the Lions will unfurl the 2022 flag in front of a packed Holloway’s Beach crowd. In the final senior game of round one, South Cairns host Centrals Trinity Beach, both sides hoping to step up in 2023 and challenge for the flag.
The Cairns Saints Women will target their 40th consecutive win in Round 1, but they will not have it easy, playing a Grand Final rematch against the Cairns City Lions. The South Cairns Women close out round 1, playing Centrals Trinity Beach under lights at Fretwell Park.
The number of twilight women’s games increases to twenty-one in 2023 (up from five last year) following positive feedback from clubs and supporters. Additionally, AFL Cairns will stream twenty-four matches of the Chemist Warehouse Women’s Home & Away Season live on Cluch TV, increased from ten last year, continuing our mission to grow and develop Womens Football.
In Round Two, the annual ANZAC Day clash between North Cairns and South Cairns heads to Watson’s Oval, with a triple-header on Tuesday April 25.
Fans will have to wait until round 4 for the Senior Men’s Grand Final Rematch, when Port Douglas head to Holloway’s Beach, hoping to make amends for last year’s Grand Final defeat. It will be a big fortnight for the Crocs, who return home in round 5 to host the Cairns Saints in the annual Pink in the Tropics game, with Crocs fans hopeful for a repeat of last year’s four-point thriller.
Cazalys Stadium will host two women’s triple-headers during the season. The first is Pride Round, held in round 5, with South Cairns and the Cairns Saints kick-starting a massive day at Cazalys. There will be five games at Cazalys throughout the day, concluding with the Manunda Hawks and Centrals Trinity Beach Senior Men facing off at twilight. All six women’s teams return to Cazalys in Round 16 with another triple-header starting with South Cairns and North Cairns.
Round 6 is Indigenous Round, one of the most popular rounds on the calendar. The day is headlined by the Dreamtime by The Sea match between the Cairns City Lions and North Cairns, held annually at Holloway’s Beach.
Indigenous Round will be immediately followed by the Genesis Health + Fitness All-Star Weekend. Our top Indigenous and South Pacific Island players will face off against the Cairns All Stars at Cazalys Stadium on May 27. Both men’s and women’s teams will be in action, following the successful launch of the Women’s All-Star game in 2022.
The top players from those games will be vying to represent North Queensland in the representative match against their South Queensland rivals. The NQ vs SQ game will be held on the 24th of June.
Friday Night Football returns to Cazalys Stadium in Round 18, with the Manunda Hawks hosting Port Douglas. It is one of three twilight or night games to be played in the Senior Competition this year.
The season concludes with the finals series in September. All three weekends of the finals series will be held at Cazalys Stadium this year after the opening weeks were relocated in 2022 due to the ODI Series between Australia and New Zealand.
AFL Cairns Grand Final Day will be held on Saturday September 23, with the Senior Grand Final again to be played at twilight.