FOOTY fans across the south-west will see changes onfield in 2019 with AFL Western District adopting seven rules changes.
Reporter Sean Hardeman spoke to an umpire, coaches and players to gauge their thoughts on the new interpretations and how they will impact the sport in the south-west.
There is some trepidation but the overall vibe is positive heading into the Hampden and Warrnambool and District league seasons.
Time will tell whether the rules, such as the kick-in alteration and revamped 50-metre penalty, will have the desired result, which is to ensure fast, free-flowing football.
Football can, of course, bring people a lot of joy.
But it can be heart-breaking at times too.
Former Warrnambool midfielder Darcy Graham had his NEAFL dream dashed when he ruptured his anterior cruciate ligament training with new club Redland.
He'd moved up north to test himself in a state league and now faces a long stint on the sidelines.
Hopefully the 2018 Maskell Medal runner-up can find his way back.
Good luck to all cricket teams in Grassmere and South West association grand finals this weekend and to the Warrnambool Seahawks and Mermaids who launch their Big V seasons on Saturday night.