Excitement has been building at Bunguyan Reserve this week with Collingwood premiership player Travis Cloke making a highly-anticipated cameo appearance for Tyabb against local-rival Somerville.
In his prime the now 32-year-old was widely regarded as the best-contested mark in the AFL, kicking 441 goals for the Magpies in 226 games.
The two-time All-Australian and Copeland Trophy winner finished his career in 2017 after a one-year stint with the Western Bulldogs.
Cloke’s presence will give the Yabbies a timely boost with Aaron Pacey’s boys disappointing against Hastings last week.
The Yabbies midfield allowed the Blues far too much latitude in the first quarter and the game felt done and dusted. The Yabbies just couldn’t find avenues to goal with Jake Anderson well held by a stingy Blues defence – he’ll enjoy playing second fiddle this time around.
Brad Williams, Curtis Murfett and Brendan Doyle were all effective performers for the Yabbies, and they will need to fire again against the Eagles.
Somerville wasted late opportunities to win against Seaford last week before a late point to Aaron Walton put the Eagles out of their misery.
The Eagles just gave away too big a start, trailing by 31 points at the main break before rattling home to lose by a solitary point.
Skipper Ben Sedgwick was inspirational for the Eagles but will need to make sure his team is switched on from the outset. Get a slow start and allow the home side to get on a roll in front of a huge crowd, and she could be all over red rover!
The return of Ryan Gillis gives the Eagles forward line a more potent look, while Paul Fermanis, Jack Barbour and Liam Gruar will look to continue their fine starts to the season.
This is basically a flip-of-the-coin job – but we’ll go for the Yabbies by four points.
Tyabb coach Aaron Pacey will be hoping the inclusion of Travis Cloke can fire up the Yabbies against Somerville.
Seaford is about to tackle a difficult fortnight of netball that will give us all an indication as to how strong the Tigers might be in 2019.
The Tigers finished third on the ladder in division one last year and had a comfortable 53-36 victory over Somerville last week.
But this week’s clash against Langwarrin, and then a meeting with last year’s premiers Karingal, will give us a great guide to the potential of Meagan Dell’s side.
And there’s no reason to doubt their competitiveness with the Tigers having class players all over the court.
Ash Mitchener, Kellie Gravell and Nichelle Liepa shared the scoring duties against the Eagles last week, with Tayla Robertson and Rachel Cosans taking control of the midcourt. And is there a better defensive combination than Tracey Dell and Kara Hargrave going around?
The Tigers are seriously good!
But they take on a Langwarrin side that also has serious talent.
Emily Zeuschner, Jayde Travers, Dane Venter and Sara Drain can match it with the best through the middle of the court while Jayde Aron is one of the best defenders in the league.
Her battle with Mitchener, Gravell and Liepa will be a real highlight and an important part of this contest.
This one is difficult to tip, but we’ll go for the Tigers to make a statement with a two-goal win.
There’s an old saying in football that ‘to be the best you have to beat the best’ and that’s the stark reality facing a promising Edithvale-Aspendale outfit heading to Eric Bell Reserve to take on Pines.
The Eagles are taking on the best – and will be reminded of that fact before the opening bounce with the Pythons to unfurl their first senior premiership flag since 1994.
Coach Paddy Swayn and President Jeff Svigos will be hoping for a nice six-to-eight knot breeze – something not too damaging, but just enough to get one of the most celebrated premiership flags fluttering in the breeze.
But then – it’s game on!
Swayn has made no secret of the fact that he rates this Eagles’ list as one of the most talented in the league, and a real danger if Graeme Yeats and his charges can roll and knead that talent into the tightest of parcels.
Talent is one thing, but achieving what Swayn and the Pythons did in 2018 – having that ultimate belief under the grandest of pressure – is something that doesn’t come easy.
Footy wouldn’t be such a challenge if it did!
There’s no doubting the Eagles’ talent after amassing 37 shots at goal in their round-one 45-point victory over Mornington last week.
Only 12 of those hit the target but Michael Bussey, Brent Bowden, Shayne Allan and Tom Lamb showed signs of becoming one of the most potent forward lines in the MPNFL. A new-look Steve Mannix led a classy midfield brigade, while Trent Robertson was superb in defence in his first game for the club.
Pines wasn’t so flashy, but really gutsy, in a 16-point victory over a gallant Mt Eliza last week.
The Pythons have guns in all the right places with Russ Gabriel a force in the ruck, Nick Boswell a rock in defence and Tim Bongetti marshalling the troops in the front half.
Brendan Barfoot kicked crucial goals against the Redlegs last week, while a starting midfield of Lewis-Smith, Potts and Scanlon is going to test any midfield going around.
If the likes of Mannix, Callan Vandyke, James Hickey and Campbell Ak can break even for the Eagles – they’re a massive chance.
It’s tempting to pick the visitors; they might be very good – but it’s the Pythons at home by five points.
Two teams will remain undefeated after this week’s round of matches with Dromana hosting Frankston and Pines and Edi-Asp locking horns at Eric Bell Reserve.
Frankston and Pines only won three games each in 2018 but have made solid starts to the season with victories over Bonbeach and Mt Eliza respectively.
It’s no surprise to anybody to see Edi-Asp win last week, with the five-time reigning champions once again the team to beat. And Dromana, well the Tigers gradually pulled away from Rosebud last week in an impressive start to their first division one campaign.
The game between Frankston and Dromana looks to be a beauty, with both teams looking to put their stamp on the early part of the season.
The Bombers were good against Bonbeach last week, taking an early three-goal lead before blowing the game apart with a 12-5 second term.
Sarah Bodycomb and Sarah Muston were frugal in defence, while Polly-Mae Morris, Chloe Sharman and Louise Brittain fed Cathy Leeves and Emma Mason with some great passing.
Dromana will be no easy beats however with Karli Foster, Erin Clark and Natasha Petroff forming a strong defensive unit.
This will be a close one but we’ll go for the Tigers by two goals.
Frankston faces a tough task this afternoon with a visit to competition new-comers Dromana.