Esperance’s defence of the Esperance District Football Association flag gets under way against Ports in a special double-header to launch the 2022 campaign on the Anzac Day long weekend.
The Bulldogs, who outlasted Gibson in last year’s decider by four points, take on the Blues on Saturday, April 23.
The round will be completed on Monday, April 25 when Newtown-Condingup meet Gibson.
Ports were premiers in 2020, but bowed out of flag contention last season against Esperance in the preliminary final when restricted to six goals.
Ports and Newtown-Condingup each start the season hopeful of building on last year’s three wins.
In keeping with past seasons, the season will be decided across 12 qualifying rounds.
League president Stu Tholstrup said the impact of COVID-19 had been minimal.
“There’s been maybe one (case) among a club now and then, but you don’t hear much about it because it’s not a close contact,” he said.
“Fingers crossed it stays that way.
‘But like everybody else, we’re just sitting back as an association with this COVID situation (because) it will be what it will be.
“What the government tell us, we do.
“But I think it’s great the restrictions have been lowered because it means clubs can have their spectators in the club rooms afterwards.
“We just wait and see.”