Despite losing a number of key movers in the off season the Lyrebirds managed to hang around for a long time last week against Warragul Industrials. It seems Jake Baker, tall utility Jake Pierrehumbert and Warragul recruit Tom Axford will be regular senior players this season. Still not convinced Buln Buln have improved their ability to post big scores. Nyora knocked over an inexperienced new look Neerim South last Saturday so it is too early to get a handle on their prospects. Safe to say though the new Rosebud recruits Ryan Spooner, Rhys Bancroft and Ben Schultz, the latter who will lend forward line support to IIan Osman – will see the Saints field a team with more balance and depth in 2018.Ellinbank DFL website
The Tigers did not get a look in at Catani last week but should be much more competitive when it hosts the Cats who lost almost three quarters of its senior side over summer. Aside from the form last Saturday of Will McGindle who had a stellar season last season and the ever-consistent Jake Dwyer there was little for Lang Lang fans to be enthused about. With a few key forwards to leave the club on the eve of the season, the Tigers may struggle to kick a winning score this year. Neerim had a crack last week but also relied too heavily on three of its most experienced goers in Nathan Bayne, Jackson Ward and Aaron Fawcett.Ellinbank DFL website
Nilma-Darnum will be feeling pretty chipper about themselves after knocking over the well fancied Crows last week. Regular ball winners Ben Campbell and Luke Lange will appreciate the arrival of Officer recruit Chris Larosa who is no stranger to the league having played over 100 games with the Dusties and St Leos amateur newcomer Brent Simon to share the midfield workload this season. There was also a lot to like about young Alvie (Colac & District League) new arrival Jack Ruddell. The Bankers tired badly after half time last week and its victory over Poowong was largely due to the presence of their versatile coach Ben Wragg. Doveton recruit and ruck Frank Agostino and former Neerim goal sneak Tim Leicester shape as handy additions.Ellinbank DFL website
The Magpies showed plenty of signs of improvement last week. While it lost at Ellinbank, apart from the opening 10 minutes it held its own and if the game went five minutes longer it would have snatched victory. Midfielders Lachlan Green, Pete Edwards, Josh Chiaravoli, Tim Francis and young gun Jai Newcombe were terrific while Cranbourne recruit Jayden Sullivan intercepted well in defence. Reigning premiers Catani started were it left off last year smashing Lang Lang. It was again led by 2018 league best and fairest Paul Pattinson and there was a fair bit to like about some of its other youngsters – namely Liam Adams who bagged four goals, ruckman Jackson Caddy and Wayde Haysom. The Magpies will give plenty of cheek especially if Tim and Ben Hancock return.Ellinbank DFL
The Dusties look to have an edge over the Crows on last weeks efforts. Age has hardly slowed midfield gun Shane Brewster and top newcomers Jack Blakey, Mitch Davies, Steve Ballingall and first year coach Joel Morgan will all be better for their first game with the Dusties. Longwarry has also had a bit of a makeover with the arrival of Russell Lehman and the return to the club of Casey and Danny Wells and ruckman Nick Redley. Longwarry will likely take a few weeks to settle before they play their best football.Ellinbank DFL
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