Where is it being played?: Lindenow Rec Reserve
What time is the seniors game scheduled to start?: 2:15pm
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LINDENOW WEATHER FORECAST:
After a disappointing East Gippsland senior football finals exit last season, experienced premiership player and best and fairest winner, Justin Gould, will be at the helm for his first season as coach at Lindenow.
Gould has a wealth of knowledge and will be a key cog as not only a coach but a player as well.
Last season Gould was involved in the club, but wasn’t able to take to the field due to an ACL injury.
The Cats made a late dash to last season’s finals series and the new coach hopes the side can play a more consistent brand of football.
“Pre-season has been going really well and we started off before Christmas a little slow but come 2019 numbers have really grown and improved each week and we are averaging probably 30 players on the track a night,” Gould said.
“I’m really impressed with how the senior group of players have come back and they are really pushing those young blokes through.
“We’ve picked up a couple of blokes from Swifts Creek in Jay Robbie and Conor Harvey who have been training well while our young blokes like Norm Barry, Riley Carroll and Josh Lando have been working really hard.”
Gould is relishing his first year as senior coach and is eager to get into the games.
“I’m finding coaching really enjoyable and it’s a good little release for myself,” Gould said.
“I know a fair few of these players from previous years and I think that is a strength of mine that will help us through the season.
“Round one should be a good test and we have a couple unavailable so we will see some young blokes on the park.”
Paynesville may not have had the results it would have liked over the 2018 East Gippsland senior football season, but it is a new year and coach, Aaron Cameron, believes his side will be leaps and bounds better.
The Gulls finished seventh last season with three wins and 15 losses, however, Cameron says the game time some of the younger players received was crucial in helping the club grow.
“When I took over the job I had a five-year plan in helping the club get back to a powerhouse club,” Cameron said.
“We have a young side with only two players being over 30 years of age.
“At the moment it is all about improving and taking steps forward as a group.
“I have no doubt that we are improving and last season we had results that really didn’t go our way but our young fellas are only improving every time they play.
“Our younger players from the under 17s such as RJ Singh, Oscar Clark and Caleb Marsh have all been outstanding in the pre season and are putting their hand up for senior selection.”
Cameron has been pleased with the output of his troops since hitting the track.
“Our pre-season as a group has been strong and I’ve been really impressed with how hard the boys have worked,” he said.
“All our under 17s, reserves and senior players train together and the most we have had on a night was 53 players.
“All the 21 to 22-year-old players are starting to gel, which is really good to see.”
With Paynesville squaring off against perennial contender, Lindenow, tomorrow, Cameron says his side can’t wait to pull on the jumper once again.
“All our boys are keen as mustard and collectively I think we are doing pretty well,” he said.
“We have no expectations on ourselves at this stage.”
Where is it being played?: Lochiel Park, Orbost
What time is the seniors game scheduled to start?: 2:15pm
ORBOST WEATHER FORECAST:
The East Gippsland Football Netball League season has arrived and it has been a hive of activity at Lochiel Park in the past couple of months as Orbost Snowy gears up for round one against Boisdale Briagolong at home this Saturday. The Blues dwelled at the bottom of the ladder for most of last season, however had plenty of positives with the development of younger players such as Max Herbert, Alex Maiden and Byron Perkins a highlight.
Head coach, Russell Christy, revealed that those players and a host of other youngsters would have big roles this season.
“The under 17 training has been well attended and they have had a good pre-season,” he said.
“Jordan Ross has had a good pre-season and Curtley Farley has too.
“Max Welsh is another that played a bit of seniors last season. He is pretty keen to have a big season.”
Replacing the output of big man, Curtley Nettleton, will be hard to do for Orbost Snowy, but a host of young players will be
given plenty of opportunities to prove themselves at the top level. A lack of depth will hurt the Blues again this season Christy revealed.
“There aren’t as many seniors as we would have liked. We have a few faces around the club, but it is not constant,” Christy said.
“We have been training for nine weeks so we are just keen for the season to start.
“Numbers won’t be consistent, but we have picked up some players.
“Michael Heyne, who played the year before last, is back in town. We have also picked up Josh Hof. He has had a good pre-season.
“I didn’t know much about him, but we have played one practice match and a few scratch matches and he seemed to go alright in those.
“I do have a lot of help with Luke Borley as assistant coach. Being a bit light on players will be difficult, but we have lots of support at the club and everyone is keen to get back to playing.”
The Bombers narrowly missed the finals last season after missing out on percentage and will be the favourites on the weekend, but expect the Blues to not go quietly.
“I don’t know too much about them, but we will see how we go. I don’t know how many issues we can solve before we play so we will see what happens,” Christy said.
“It is a tough match up first up, though we will give it our best shot.”
After not making East Gippsland football senior finals in 2018, Boisdale Briagolong is gearing up for what will hopefully be a big season.
First year coach, Josh Stubbe, is looking forward to the challenge.
“I’ve coached at Heyfield before and I’m absolutely looking forward to coaching this season,” Stubbe said.
“I think we’ve got a really good list and I’m excited to see what we are capable of.
“We’ve maintained most of our list and our recruitment has been good over the off season.”
Stubbe will still be pulling on the Bombers jumper this season and believes his role will not change when on the field.
“I’ve got good support on the bench and those blokes will be helping me out a fair bit,” he said.
After finishing fifth last season, Stubbe says the Bombers had a strong pre season.
“Our pre season has been excellent and there have been really good numbers on the track.
“We’ve achieved everything we want to achieve as a group in the off season and the practice matches have been excellent for us.
“With the change to the under 17 age group we have seen a lot more younger players being added into the senior list.
“The younger players have done the work and two to three of them will be in the seniors come Saturday.
“The rest of them will play in the reserves and throughout the year I will make the decision to see if they break into the seniors.
“They have impressed me throughout pre season.” Stubbe said he has made minor changes to the Bombers’ set up in a bid to go the extra mile.
“Since last season we have implemented structure with the way we attack. We have worked a lot on ball movement and we now have more structure down back.
Where is it being played?: Stratford Rec Reserve
What time is the seniors game scheduled to start?: 2:15pm
STRATFORD WEATHER FORECAST:
Stratford will be looking to keep things simple as it aims to defend last season’s East Gippsland senior football premiership.
Two-time premiership coach, Peter Morrison, says his side will try and play the same brand of football that was so successful in delivering the 2018 flag.
“Simple is good and we stuck to our guns in last season’s grand final and we got it done,” Morrison said.
“We will move the ball quickly to try and create scoring opportunities.
“I think you can get too caught up in trying to change a heap of things.”
The Swans have had a solid pre-season and Morrison says his boys have itchy feet to get out and play.
“We have done about 10 weeks of solid training and I think we are ready to go,” he said.
“We’ve had a good block of work and we played Sale and Sale City in practice matches.
They were good hit outs for us.” Stratford has retained much of its premiership list from last season but will miss the likes of Beau Mynard, Cohan Lee, Jack Bacon (shoulder injury), Gavin Bickery (leg injury), Liam Lemon and Josh Kiss to begin the
However, league and runner-up best and fairests, Lachie Heywood and Reggie Tait, will once again be crucial in the ruck and on the wing while Nathan Pollard and brothers, and Nicholas French, will also play a huge role around the ground.
“With a couple of those boys not playing it gives a good opportunity for somebody else,” Morrison said.
“We still have the nucleus of players that look to continue having a good time together.
“We haven’t been talking about back-to-back and I think the group like doing things together.
“We will be ticking boxes week by week.”
The Swans kick off the season with a grand final rematch against Lakes Entrance where they will unfurl their 2018 premiership flag.
Lakes Entrance will take a youthful approach to the 2019 East Gippsland Football Netball League senior football season.
Due to the loss of top end talent and age group changes, head coach, James Gibbs, revealed his side would look very different to the one that lost to Stratford in the grand final last season.
“We have been very young in pre-season so far,” he said.
“We are one of the younger sides in the league. We aren’t firing on all cylinders unfortunately at the moment, but we will look at that.
“It will be a bit of a test this week and the following week. A few of the Tiwi Island guys aren’t here until later in the week so we haven’t have a good opportunity to train together.
“We might start a bit slow at the start but once we get going we will be dangerous.
“We lost stacks, probably eight of our best 12. Pumba (Alex Saunders) has gone to play state league in Tasmania, Joel Campbell has gone to play state league in Canberra, Zac Svetlik has gone up north cattle mustering for work and Sean Kelly, our captain, has gone back to Melbourne for work.
“That is probably four of our best six players. We probably aren’t going to be as good as we were last year, but it gives us an opportunity to fast track the kids.”
While some experienced players missed out on the Seagulls intra club matches and practice match against the Mid Gippsland
League’s Newborough, Gibbs liked what he saw and is excited to see the future of the club hit the field.
“The intra club matches have been good, while in the practice match we may as well have played our under 17s,” he said.
“Probably 10 of our best 12 senior players were away or not playing, which was alright because it was good to get an idea of how some of the those younger players might go.
“The intra club last Thursday night pretty much had most blokes on board and it went pretty well. I am pretty happy with how we are looking.
“Ben Richardson is a young bloke that is going really well. He just does what you asks and always has. He always asks what he can do to get better.
“Xavier Woodland will be very handy. He had a bit of an injury a month ago but he is all right now. Darcy Sumner is another who played a bit of seniors last year that can take the next step.
“They’re all probably all ready to go and then there is another seven or eight, which will play seniors this year as well. I just have to pick them at the right time and make sure their confidence is up.”
At training Gibbs has been making sure his young guns are ready to go.
“We have been working on their composure,” he said.
“They are probably faster than 80 per cent of the senior guys, but they just rush. They will get used to that speed eventually.
“As long as they understand they are good enough and fast enough they will be right.
“Giving them the confidence to be able to take the next step understand that the senior guys aren’t as fit and quick is
Lakes Entrance kicks off its campaign with a grand final rematch against Stratford at Stratford in a match that Gibbs believes his young players can learn a lot from.
“We are not 100 per cent firing, but as long as our boys go down there and give it a good crack I will be happy,” he said.
“I am more worried about later in the year.
“It will be a good test for us. Stratford is flying and they have picked up some handy players so they are going to be the benchmark this year, but it is good to have a crack against those really strong teams.
“It doesn’t take much, sometimes it is a mental thing. Last year we managed to turn things around. We lost by 80 points in the
semi and we only just lost in the grand final, which was really disappointing because we set ourselves up to knock them off.
“I know we won’t be too strong early on, but as we work on what we need to do we will improve.”
Where is it being played?: Wy Yung Oval
What time is the seniors game scheduled to start?: 2:15pm
WY YUNG WEATHER FORECAST:
That is what Wy Yung is aiming for, both on the football field and netball court.
The senior footballers fell short to Lakes Entrance in the preliminary final last season, but in a bid to progress further into September, the Tigers have landed some quality recruits, namely James and Michael Young, Chris Wheeler and James Beha.
Beha was named the league’s best and fairest in 2012 when he played for Lakes Entrance and is a quality ruckmen and tall target in the forward line.
In his second year at the helm, coach, Shaun Mooney, who has a long history as player and coach for Bairnsdale in both the East Gippsland and Gippsland leagues and a two year stint with Corowa Rutherglen in the Ovens and Murray Football Netball League under his belt, thinks those new additions will alleviate some of his side’s weaknesses.
“We felt that we needed height in the forward line and to get Jimmy Young and Jimmy Beha has been really exciting,” he said.
“Both have been training really consistently. Our midfield depth has been bolstered by Chris Wheeler and in defence Mikey Young will be good.
“Some of our experienced players had an interrupted preseason so they will take their time to work into the side.”
Mooney knows his side is ready to start following a quality pre-season.
“We played Traralgon Tyers United again. We played them last year and they had a really good season and we certainly learned a lot against them this year,” he said.
“It was a great opportunity for some our younger guys and I thought they went really well.
“Our pre-season training has been led very well by Daniel Perrin, Dave Waddell, Josh Broome and Matt Arnold.”
Mooney is excited by some of the young talent at the club.
“In the past 12 months our young guys have really stepped up and learned a lot,” he said.
“Norm Betts is back at the club and Nick Ward played very consistently in the under 18s. We have got a strong group of 18 to 19-year-olds and they will get an opportunity early in the year to impress.”
In round one Wy Yung faces cross-town rivals, Lucknow, in what could be a tight contest.
“Every club has been training hard and Rhys Robinson has taken over at Lucknow,” Mooney said.
“He has had some success with them in the past, but we are fit and fired up to go. We have been training for four to five months and everyone is keen to hit the ground.”
In his second year at the helm, Mooney is continuing to work on the foundations he built last season.
“Overall most players understand the game plan so I am more so introducing the new guys to the system and teaching the new guys consistency and our current structures.”
With places three to six separated by only eight points last year, Mooney believes something similar could happen again.
“Everyone has improved from last year,” he said.
“Everything is a bit of an unknown at the moment. We have just been focusing on our group and making progress from last year. A lot of young players have improved and have earned an opportunity.
“Stratford is the reigning premier and I think they and Lindenow are both great clubs. We want to try and build some strong momentum, but I expect it is going to be very even, which is exciting for the competition.”
After missing out on the East Gippsland Football Netball League senior 2018 finals series by two points, Lucknow is gearing up for a return to September action.
The Magpies were in the top four race for much of the season, but fell agonisingly close of avenging their 2017 grand final loss to Lindenow.
Rhys Robinson has taken the coaching reins from Luke Belfrage and he has picked up some quality talent to add to an already strong playing list.
From Paynesville, Beau and Ben Haslam will slot into defence and the midfield respectively, while former Wy Yung defender, Ryan Ladson, is a handy backman that can shut down small forwards.
Brandon Sauer has made the move from Lakes Entrance and can play in the midfield or start forward to allow the Magpies more scoring avenues alongside Jake Green, Shaun Ryan and Brent Isles.
Robinson said those inclusions will help fill the void left by 2018 trade award winner, Keenan Hynes, winger, Jesse Glassborrow, and staunch defender, Peter Jenner, and allow his side to play with ferocious intent on the ball and ball carrier.
“We have brought in Ben and Beau (Haslam), (Brandon) Sauer and Ryan Ladson,” he said.
“We did lose a couple of handy players, but we have some great ins that will allow us to spread the workload rather than rely on one or two players.
“Last season we probably got a bit too wide on the ball. We need to be able to get the contested ball as good as those top sides like Lindenow, Stratford and Wy Yung.
“We have been working on spreading the ball and not relying on our guns. In the leadership group Sambo (James Sanford) and Atley (Ash Smith) are great and we have a good young midfield.
“We were good against the bad sides last year, but against the good teams we sort of fell away a bit. We have to get our ball winning up to where it should be near where the top sides are.”
After a long pre-season, Lucknow is ready for the round one contest against the Tigers.
“We have had a good pre-season. We came back for a couple weeks in December,” Robinson said.
“It was a long pre-season, but the start of the season has come from nowhere. We are ready to go. We have been keeping things simple and making sure we have a good base fitness, good skills and a proper structure.
“We had two intra club matches and one practice match against Bruthen, so the boys are keen.
“A lot of our training in the pre-season has been focused on making sure we beat Wy Yung. We are really prepared for what they have got.
“Last season we got a bit of a touch up. They jumped us early and went on to win by about 50 points. We have adjusted a few things and are hoping to return the favour.”
Robinson is excited by what some of his junior players are bringing to the table.
“Jye Mitton, Bayley Croucher and Brodie Matthews have all been really impressive,” he said.
“They have all trained with the seniors during the pre-season and will be given some opportunity during the season.”
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