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THE FOOTBALL SEASON.

To-day will find the league clubs, as well as the association (who commenced last Saturday), engaged in matches for the premiership, and some definite ideal   will be obtainable as to the value of the new rules under which the game is being played this winter. In the metropolis the more interesting game will be   that between Melbourne and South Melbourne. South Melbourne retain most of the men who brought the club prominently forward last season, though there is some anxiety as to what extent the altera- tions in rules will have affected their excellence in the ruck—for some time past their strongest feature. Melbourne has lost some of its strength in defence, and it has to be shown how far the new men will make up for it. Essendon play their first match   at Geelong, and the alterations in their last year's team—confined to about half a dozen—should not   greatly affect their strength, while Geelong, on the other hand, has made many changes. Collingwood   have a strong twenty once more under the captaincy of Strickland, and will open the season on their own ground, where the ceremony of hoisting the pennant so ably won last year will be part of the afternoon's programme. St. Kilda who oppose the premiers,   will make an alteration in their colours to avoid   clashing with Essendon and will in future wear white knickers. Fitzroy will try some half-dozen juniors,   and may be stronger to-day than on succeeding     Saturdays, when some of their best men will be still engaged in junior cricket. Cleary, who is unable to play to-day, has again been elected captain, with    

M'Michael vice-captain. Carlton have started the     season energetically, and are said to have got early to training. The following are the engagements for the afternoon :—

LEAGUE MATCHES.

Collingwood v. St. Kilda, at Victoria-park.    

South Melbourne v. Melbourne, at South Melbourne

C.G.

Fitzroy v. Carlton, at Fitzroy C.G.    

Essendon v. Geelong, at Geelong C.G.

ASSOCIATION MATCHES.

Port Melbourne v. Richmond, St. Port Melbourne

C.G.

Footscray v. Brunswick, at Footscray C.G.  

North Melbourne v. Williamstown, at Williamstown   C.G.  

Collegians v. Waltham, to be played at Wesley Col-    

lege.

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