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2019 AFLW fixture released

Harford reacts to AFLW fixture AFLW Senior Coach Daniel Harford dissects the 2019 AFLW fixture for the Blues.

CARLTON will be the first club to take on newcomer North Melbourne in the AFLW competition, travelling to Tasmania for its Round 1 clash next year.

Kicking off on Sunday February 3 at 1:05pm, the match will see the Blues and Roos battle it out for premiership points in the inaugural AFLW game at North Hobart Oval in the Apple Isle.

It comes as details of the 2019 AFLW fixture were unveiled by the AFL on Friday morning, including the new-look conference format.

The Blues have been placed in conference B, along with Brisbane, GWS, Collingwood and Geelong.

Carlton will play each of these teams once, as well as three teams from conference A – making up the seven-round home-and-away fixture.

After heading to Tasmania, Carlton will play its first game at Ikon Park in Round 2 against Adelaide on Sunday 10 February.

In total the Blues will play three games at the home of women’s football – Ikon Park – also taking on traditional rival Collingwood on a Saturday night in Round 5, as well Brisbane in Round 6.

Carlton will head to Sydney to face GWS in Round 3 and travel down the highway to GMHBA Stadium to open Round 4 against Geelong.

Rounding out the home-and-away season, Carlton and the Western Bulldogs will once again battle it out in the AFLW Pride Game, with the Dogs to host the match at Whitten Oval in Round 7.

Visit Carlton's AFLW hub for more content

GM of Women’s Football Nicole Graves welcomed the fixture and said she was looking forward to Carlton’s historic match against North Melbourne.

“To be part of another moment in the competition’s history is really exciting for the Club and it will be a great opportunity for our playing group to hit the road in Round 1 and connect with our members and supporters in Tasmania,” Graves said.

“The Kangaroos have built a strong side during the off-season, recruiting the likes of Emma Kearney, Katie Ashmore and Moana Hope and we’re excited to open our 2019 campaign against such quality opposition."

Despite not being allocated the season opener in 2019, the Club remains steadfast in its commitment and approach to ensuring Ikon Park remains the home of AFLW.

Having received $20 million from the Victorian State government as part of the Ikon Park redevelopment, the Club will continue to work with the federal government in seeking its support to ensure the facilities at the home of AFLW are equivalent to those afforded to the Club’s male athletes.

“We appreciate there are some realities with the stadium that need to be improved, and we’re aware the lighting at Ikon Park came into question this season. However, the Club has secured funding from the Victorian state government to upgrade our facilities to provide the best environment for all our athletes – ensuring Ikon Park continues to be cemented as the home of AFLW football,” Graves said.

“As a team, we also know we underperformed last year and with two new sides entering the competition, we understand the AFL’s decision to launch the season in Geelong – it’s really important to support our regional women and girls in the AFLW competition.”

“In terms of the rest of the fixture we can’t wait to play Brisbane, Adelaide and our traditional rival Collingwood at Ikon Park, while travelling to Sydney to face GWS and heading down the highway to battle with Geelong.

“To finish the home-and-away season playing in the second AFLW Pride Game against the Western Bulldogs at Whitten Oval is also a great result. We know this was a really special match for the players and they’ll be rapt to hear we’ll take part again next year.”

As the Blues enter a new chapter under the leadership of senior coach Daniel Harford and his senior assistant Shannon McFerran, the Club is looking forward to its third year in the AFLW program and has identified key areas of improvement for season 2019.

“There’s no doubt we’ll be up for the challenge next year. We’ll aim to rectify some areas across the course of pre-season, with a real focus on positive play and attack,” Graves said.

See Carlton's full 2019 AFLW fixture here