THE official fixture for the Gippsland League has been released.

The schedule features 18 home and away matches, with the season set to kick off on April 2, 2022.

The finals series will begin in the final weekend of August, with the grand final scheduled for September 17.

Season 2022 will see all clubs fixtured to play each other within the first nine rounds of competition, which was a key focus from the clubs after this year’s COVID-affected season.

Easter weekend will see a league-wide bye with the Queen’s Birthday long weekend also a bye for eight of the clubs.

There will be a return of the split round late in the season at round 16 that will allow the clubs another break throughout the playing schedule while also giving the league flexibility should there be any interruptions.

The first round of competition will see three matchups that the clubs missed out on playing in 2021.

Wonthaggi Power hosts Sale with both sides fancied to feature in September action in the senior football.

Morwell will make the trip to Bairnsdale while Drouin and Maffra will do battle for the first time since 2019.

Traralgon will make the trip to Leongatha first up in a fixture the clubs are hoping to make into an annual round 1 clash.

Rounding out the first matchday will be Moe and Warragul.

ANZAC weekend will be a feature with round 3 showcasing a plethora of rivalry clashes.

Traralgon and Morwell will playoff under lights on the Saturday night at Traralgon Showgrounds.

Bairnsdale will host Sale for bragging rights in East Gippsland, Moe will welcome Maffra to Ted Summerton Reserve while Wonthaggi and Leongatha renew their rivalry in Saturday afternoon action.

Sunday will see the Western Derby with Warragul and Drouin lining up for early season bragging rights.