Football is all set to kick off again

WITH Aurora Stadium's inaugural summer of cricket over, it's now footy time.

Launceston will host its first of five AFL matches next Friday when Hawthorn takes on North Melbourne under lights in their NAB Challenge encounter.

The venue's drop-in cricket wicket was only removed a fortnight ago but general manager Robert Groenewegen said the surface was in "perfect' condition for the Tasmanian tenants preseason derby.

"It will be as good as it always is," Groenewegen said yesterday.

"We lifted the pitch out the day after the Ricky Ponting match and relayed the turf ready to go by the Saturday morning.

"You would perhaps be able to identify where the strip sits but it is the same grass as the rest of the ground.

"We have got a turf nursery at the back of the ground so we grew it out there and laid it."

Groenewegen said he was looking forward to getting football back to the stadium with several games early in the season.

Hawthorn will tackle Brisbane in round one at the venue, West Coast and Gold Coast in June before Northern Tasmania's taste of AFL finishes with the Western Bulldogs on August 3.

Groenewegen said Friday's clash is a good chance to try out the new light tower and updated lights.

"It makes the venue more flexible and with the roster the way it is now it is nice we can slot in at different times and certainly Friday and Saturday night gigs are desirable," he said.

"Both teams play in Tasmania so hopefully that will drag a few people along for a look."

The match starts at 7.10pm.

Tickets are available from www.ticketmaster.com.au

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