Christian Tatman, Frankston Standard Leader

VFL matches will be played at Frankston Park during the 2017 season.

AFL Victoria’s 2017 VFL fixture includes Essendon versus Port Melbourne in Round 4 and Werribee against Richmond in Round 13 at Frankston.

Mayor Brian Cunial said he was rapt with the announcement. “This announcement comes at a critical time for the Frankston Dolphins Football Club, which is moving forward with achieving their goal of regaining a VFL licence for the 2018 season,” he said.

“The club has received great support from the Frankston community during this difficult time. “It is great to have AFL Victoria on board in getting the club back on stable footing, while keeping a high calibre of football alive in Frankston.”

In addition to the VFL matches, Frankston Park — home of the Dolphins — will also host TAC Cup matches, TAC women’s under 18s matches and TAC practice matches.

The Dolphins recently announced an interim board including Michelle Graham, Peter Geddes, Mick O’Neil, Wayne Lock, Peter Barr and senior council officers Dennis Hovenden and Tim Frederico.

Mr Geddes said an AGM would be held in March to enable members to formally vote in the board. He said a plan to revive the club would be presented to the meeting.

The Dolphins were sensationally booted out of the VFL in September after AFL Victoria said its $1.5 million debt was too significant ­to ignore.

Members are now working tirelessly to resurrect the club for the 2018 season. Cr Cunial said it was disappointing the Dolphins weren’t playing in the 2017 season. But he added: “It is reassuring to know that while the club is working hard to move forward — they are receiving support from council, the AFL community and other key stakeholders.”

Frankston state Labor MP Paul Edbrooke said hard work and community support shown so far had ensured the club was in a “solid position” to work on regaining its VFL licence for 2018.

“We need to continue that level of support and not lose sight of our goal,” he said. “It is encouraging to see that AFL Victoria have been able to schedule two VFL matches and several TAC cup matches in the meantime.”