The teams are in for Friday's matches to kick off the 2024 Smithy's VFL season.

St Kilda eyes will be firmly fixed on RSEA Park in the first match of the 2024 Smithy’s VFL season, where Brad Crouch will turn out for Sandringham after his surprise omission from the Saints’ AFL team alongside forward Dan Butler on his return from injury.

The Zebras will also field Saints draftees Lance Collard, Hugo Garcia, Angus Hastie and superboot Arie Schoenmaker on their VFL debuts, while former Swan Hugo Hall-Kahan heads the list of experienced recruits.

Collingwood has nine club debutants in its team, with former Saint Jack Bytel to line up against his old alignment team and star ex-Footscray captain Lachie Sullivan to make his debut in black and white as the Magpies unveil draftee Tew Jiath and former Hawk Ned Long, but returning Magpie Ben Crocker will miss.

Key forward Jack Hutchinson, who has impressed in the pre-season, will debut alongside VAFA star Sam Sofronidis and Jett Hartman.

Magpie fans will have their eyes on John Noble, Ash Johnson and Charlie Dean as they try to win their AFL spots back.

In the second clash of the opening day, Frankston supporters will be forgiven for rubbing their eyes when the Dolphins welcome Williamstown to Kinetic Stadium for their Smithy’s VFL season opener tomorrow night.

Almost a quarter of the Seagulls’ team will be former Dolphins once revered by the famous Pod but now likely to be squarely in the sights of one of the most passionate supporter groups in the VFL.

The moves of best-and-fairest Will Fordham and star defender Ryley Stoddart across the bay, coupled with the decision of ex-Dolphin Brodie McLaughlin to choose Williamstown after his premiership and Frosty Miller Medal-winning season at Gold Coast, means there are five former favourite sons making the trip down from DSV Stadium.

The others are Mitch Cox and Corey Rich, who is back in the VFL after a season with Old Haileybury.

Williamstown will unveil 11 recruits in its 23 for tomorrow night’s match, headed by former AFL-listed players Riley Collier-Dawkins, Luke Parks and Blake Coleman alongside McLaughlin, Fordham and Stoddart, with only Josh Browne not having VFL experience – and he has played 32 WAFL matches for West Coast.

With Essendon recruit Joel Fitzgerald also expected to be a terrific pick-up and James Cousins and Cam Polson back from 2023 seasons ruined by injury, it means a big task for the Dolphins, even with Aiden Bonar (quad) and Darby Henderson (concussion) missing.

Frankston has named eight recruits for the game, with Tom Murphy returning from Somerville and senior regulars George Grey, Noah Gown and Tyson Milne also playing, while Rowville’s Kyle Stainthorpe (a former Casey Demons-listed player) and Cheltenham’s Ollie Moran will make their VFL debuts.

The Dolphins will be without key players Connor Riley and Joe Lloyd.

All matches in the 2024 Smithy’s VFL and VFLW seasons will be live streamed free via the AFL website, AFL Live Official App and VFL App.

Smithy’s VFL broadcast partner, the Seven Network, will broadcast select matches live and free on the Seven Network in Victoria and on 7plus nationally. This week’s game will be Casey Demons vs Box Hill Hawks.


Friday 22 March, 4:05pm, RSEA Park
Head-to-head: Sandringham 12-8; At RSEA Park: Never met; Streak: Collingwood 2
Last time: Collingwood 9.10 64 def Sandringham 6.12 48 (July 23, 2023, AIA Centre)

B: L. Macnab (66), A. Seaton (50), A. McLennan (41)
HB: A. Schoenmaker (27), M. Ryan (74), T. Blamires (53)
C: A. Hastie (24), B. Crouch (5), V. Zagari (58)
HF: H. Hall-Kahan (55), D. Butler (16), O. Lowe (59)
F: M. Heath (42), A. Caminiti (47), L. Collard (4)
R: T. Campbell (38), O. Hotton (39), R. Garcia (34)
INT: I. Keeler (17), D. Hipwell (51), T. O'Leary (60), Lo. Young (81), M. Faimalo (99)
23rd Player: T. O'Leary (60)
EMG: Le. Young (64), B. Watson (70), B. Welsh (77), W. Vesely (73), W. Brown (54), W. Nish (56), J. Docking (85)

NEW: Lance Collard (North Beach/Subiaco/Eagles NGA), Misilifi Faimalo (Richmond VFL), Hugo Garcia (Greenvale/Calder Cannons), Hugo Hall-Kahan (Sydney AFL), Angus Hastie (Geelong West Giants/Geelong Falcons), Mitch Ryan (GWS VFL), Arie Schoenmaker (Launceston/Tasmania Devils), Logan Young (Wembley Downs/Claremont)

S. Sofronidis (54), C. Dean (43), J. Ryan (24)
HB: T. Jiath (19), J. Noble (9), C. Mulvogue (66)
C: J. Bytel (27), L. Sullivan (33), J. Carmichael (12)
HF: H. Harrison (36), J. Richards (29), T. Wilson (56)
F: S. Glover (50), J. Hutchinson (49), A. Johnson (40)
R: A. Begg (39), E. Allan (16), N. Long (55)
INT: J. Hartman (70)*, L. Purcell (65), R. Sparkes (51), C. Lane (48), H. Kennedy (53)
EMG: Y. Ashwin (77)

NEW: Jack Bytel (St Kilda), Jett Hartman (Mooroolbark/Oakleigh Chargers), Jack Hutchinson (Wonthaggi), Tew Jiath (Morwell/Gippsland Power/Hawks NGA), Harrison Kennedy (Northern Bullants), Ned Long (Hawthorn), Sam Sofronidis (Collegians), Ryan Sparkes (Wonthaggi), Lachie Sullivan (Footscray)


Friday 22 March, 7:35pm, Kinetic Stadium
Head-to-head: Williamstown 45-25-1; At Kinetic Stadium: Williamstown 19-14-1; Streak: Williamstown 1
Last time: Williamstown 11.8 74 def Frankston 5.17 47 (March 31, 2023, Kinetic Stadium)

B: O. Moran (28), M. Williams (4), T. Barlow (3)
HB: T. Murphy (5), J. Smith (25), G. Grey (6)
C: C. Nayna (9), J. Newnes (14), J. Voss (13)
HF: T. Mynott (12), T. Marotta (30), L. Reidy (2)
F: N. Burke (17), N. Gown (1), J. Butland (8)
R: A. Grant (19), T. Owens (7), S. Quirk (11)
INT: T. Milne (15), K. Stainthorpe (29), B. O'Leary (10), L. Riley (21), M. Johnson (24)
EMG: J. McManus (43), T. Campbell-Farrell (26), J. Davies (35), H. Jones (39)

NEW: Nick Burke (Port Melbourne), Noah Gown (Sandringham), George Grey (Casey Demons), Tyson Milne (Sandringham), Ollie Moran (Cheltenham), Tom Murphy (Somerville), Tomoya Owens (Sandringham), Kyle Stainthorpe (Rowville)

J. Fitzgerald (15), F. O'Dwyer (17), J. Greiser (18)
HB: R. Stoddart (15), L. Parks (22), C. Polson (5)
C: M. Philpot (19), J. Cousins (10), N. Gadsby (13)
HF: J. Toner (14), C. Ellison (1), C. Rich (3)
F: J. Petric (24), B. Coleman (27), B. McLaughlin (6)
R: T. Downie (11), R. Collier-Dawkins (9), W. Fordham (7)
INT: H. Minton-Connell (16), J. Browne (12), T. Triffett (23), M. Cox (4), N. Ebinger (26)
EMG: J. Brown (28), Z. Pritchard (44), A. Deng (30), B. Andrews (29), L. Conway (34)

NEW: Josh Browne (West Coast WAFL), Blake Coleman (Brisbane Lions AFL), Riley Collier-Dawkins (Woodville-West Torrens), Joel Fitzgerald (Essendon VFL), Will Fordham (Frankston), Brodie McLaughlin (Gold Coast AFL), Harry Minton-Connell (Essendon VFL), Luke Parks (Carlton VFL), Jovan Petric (Keilor/Western Jets/Collingwood VFL), Corey Rich (Old Haileybury), Ryley Stoddart (Frankston)