Local footy is back and thank god it is! We’ve suffered through the long hot summer waiting patiently for the start of this all new competition. The amalgamation of the two competitions will not only increase interest in all our great clubs, but also strengthen the overall standing of the competition amongst other leagues in Victoria and of course Australia.
Whilst most of the competition will have to remain patient for their first crack at the ball (spare a thought for Woori Yallock and Alexandra who have the bye first up as well), Berwick and Narre Warren will reacquaint themselves this weekend in the SEFNL Football Grand Final Re-Match.
On the netball court Narre Warren enjoyed a clean sweep against the Wickers, winning convincingly each time they met each other, with the round two clash the closest of the contests – a 20 goal margin.
Berwick will be looking for a good combination between Goaler Kassidy Withers and their attacking mid courters Tayla Butterworth and Brittney Pym. Narre’s skipper Brittany Mashado will look to dominate the centre third, whilst defender Jemma Osbourne will be the one to negate any of the Wickers attacking threat.
Narre were disappointed with a straight sets’ elimination from last seasons netball final series, and will look to avenge that exit with a strong early win.
In football terms these clubs may be getting sick of one another, after five clashes during the 2018 season – three home and away and two finals. Narre were victorious in their first two battles but lost the last three which of course included the Grand Final.
In none of their encounters last season did a team score over 100 points. Narre went closest in round seven when the kicked 13.10(88) with Stewart Scanlon kicking four majors. He along with Mitchell Collins were the most consistent players for the Magpies against the eventual premiers, with Collins appearing in the best on four of the five occasions.
For the Wickers, the grand final performance of Travis Tuck is well noted, but throughout the entire season it was 2019 co-captain Bryce Rutherford who appeared in the best players during every one of the Wickers victories over Narre Warren. Look out for him again this weekend.
Premiership coach Stewart Kemperman parted ways with the club during the off-season, heading across to Doncaster in the EFL, with ex-coach Rhys Nisbet back at the helm of the Berwick machine. That change should lead to Berwick creating more scoring opportunities.
What can we expect to see this Saturday? Two professional clubs who will be looking to flex their muscles not only for their direct rivals on the field, but the numerous rivals they’re about to introduce themselves to across the season. Oh and some fierce competition.