Kerang targets premiership hat-trick

PREMIERSHIP hat-tricks have been achieved just three times across the history of the Central Murray Football Netball League’s senior footy competition.

In 2024 it will be Kerang which chases a three-peat of premiership flags in the Radio 3SH-backed competition.

It’s a rematch of last year’s grand finalists, Balranald and Kerang which highlights opening round on April 13.

Balranald will have home-ground advantage at Greenham Park for the big clash from 2.30pm.

Massive test for the Roos against the powerful Blues line-up.

Kerang marked a run of CMFNL senior footy grand final wins from 2012 to 2017.

Tyntynder was the league’s number one club in 1997 to ’99.

Woorinen’s run at a hat-trick after the success in 2018 and ’19 was halted by Covid.

At Kerang, Troy Coates stay on as coach, but this time as non-playing.

The final game of his brilliant playing career was last season’s grand final in which Coates kicked two goals in a 76-66 win against Balranald at Swan Hill.

Kerang’s best in the decider were Sam Heavyside, Nick Lang, Lachlan Ross and Michael Dalrymple.

The Blues are bolstered by the signing of gun on-baller/mid Adam Baird who was co-coach as Mount Pleasant won last year’s Heathcote DFNL premiership.

A four-time premiership winner at Golden Square, Baird won the Michelsen Medal as the Bendigo FNL’s fairest and best in 2019.

The Jydon Neagle-coached Balranald is likely to again be a strong contender for premiership glory, along with Woorinen and Nyah Nyah West United.

Sixth in ’23, Cohuna Kangas will be determined to bounce back.

Huge coups for the Kangas was the signing of Jack Geary, a six-time premiership winner with Golden Square and 2018 Michelsen medallist.

Swan Hill’s squad includes former Melbourne and Port Adelaide forward Jimmy Toumpas.

A 37-game career in the AFL went from 2013 to 18.

Toumpas also brings plenty of premirship-winning experience from Woodville-West Torrens in the South Australian league.


Brilliant effort by the Jydon Neagle-coached Kangaroos to make last year’s grand final where they almost ended Kerang’s unbeaten run in the match which matters most.

The Roos’ best in the grand final were Matt Neagle, Jaxon Neagle, Rory Fitzgerald and Jydon Neagle.

A powerful attack was led by Ben Fuller on four goals.

Newcomers for Balranald are Mason Fitzgerald, South Mildura; Jett Funnell, Tooleybuc Manangatang; Jack Gervasi, Ultima; Lachlan Lellman, Renmark; and Tobie Richardson, Lake Boga.

Cohuna Kangas

The recruitment of Jack Geary as playing coach was a huge coup for the Cohuna Kangas.

A six-time premiership winner with Golden Square, Geary’s running capacity and skill is a huge plus for a Kangas line-up determined to hit back from last season’s record of 9-7.

Plenty of newcomers at Cohuna.

Those to have joined the Kangas include Golden Square defender Will Lee, Huntly’s Jayden Cordy, Rochester’s Izaak Johnson, and Kerang’s Logan Threlfall.

Cohuna has also gained Riley Chivers-Sellings and Lachlan English from Echuca JFC; Koondrook-Barham’s Travis Ford, and Banyule’s Xavier Mitchell.

Team-mats at Leitchville-Gunbower, Hudson Fountain, Dane O’Connell and Jack Pollock are now at Cohuna, along with Macorna’s Andre Glass and Diesel Mercuri, and Murrabit’s Hunter and Oliver More.

Cohuna’s season starts against Tyntynder at Alan Garden Reserve in Swan Hill.


The reigning premiers are again the team to beat.

The recruitment of Adam Baird after co-coaching Mount Pleasant to last season’s premiership in the Heathcote DFNL will bolster a formidable mid/on-ball brigade.

Key forward Jarryd Pertzel rejoins the Blues after a stint with Merrigum.

Other recruits include Archer Dibsdale, St Joseph’s; Mark Threlfall from Kangaroo Flat juniors; Wandella’s Corey Walters, and Murrabit’s Ryleigh Wilkinson.

Kerang starts the season on Balranald’s turf on April 13.

Koondrook Barham

After a winless run in ’23, Koondrook-Barham will be determined to mark a win or two, or more.

Will Callow will coach the River Raiders.

Newcomers to the KB squad include Louis Cain, Picola; Navarre’s Billy Driscoll; Nathan Hamence, Irymple; and Lachlan Vagg from Mathoura.

The club has also recruited Cambell Davison and Jordan McKinnon from Wentworth, Bambill’s Jason and Nathan Hura, and Murrabit’s Harrison and Lachlan Maher.

Koondrook-Barham is drawn to play Nyah Nyah West United in the season opener on April 13 at Barham Recreation Reserve.

Lake Boga

After finishing the ’23 home-and-away series in fourth place on a 10-6 record, Lake Boga went down to Nyah Nyah West United in the elimination final by 44 points.

Plenty of turnover in the Magpies’ next which has included joint coaches Shawn Filo, non-playing, and Angus Monfries, playing, now teaming up to coach Maiden Gully YCW Eagles in the Loddon Valley.

Lake Boga appointed Dean Helmers as senior coach.

The Magpies’ recruits include Bailey Clarke, Tyntynder; William Doquille, Old Xaverians; Ruben Drotsky, Nyah Nyah West United; Aaron Lonergan, Moama; Zac Warne, Geelong West Giants; and Lachlan Wooding from Whitehorse.

Lake Boga has also signed Ryan Fraser and Morgan Ryder from Tooleybuc Manangatang, Daniel Mitchell from Moulamein; Nullawil’s Jarrod Taylor, and Brodie Tonkin from Old Melburnians.

After a first-round bye, Lake Boga is at home on April 20 to meet Woorinen in the clash of the Magpies and Tigers.

Mallee Eagles

The Eagles will be aiming to fly high after last year’s win-loss tally of 4-12 and ninth place.

This season is the 120th anniversary since the formation of the Lalbert Football Club.

A team to be coached by Brent Macleod will now have Jayden Post from Altona in the attack.

Post played 30 games for Richmond between 2009 and ’12.

Recruits for the Eagles include Troy Anderson from Modewarre, Newcomb’s Kieren Bourke, Swan Hill’s Sebastian Linssen, Beechworth’s Jai Middleton, and Clem Miller from Langhorne Creek.

The Lalbert-based club has also gained Harry Hollow and Darcy Hourigan from Nairne Bremer, Jake McGee from Wandella, Moulamein’s Nickolas Miller, Dawson Prange and Jesse Wilson, and Altona’s Jordan Robbins.

The Eagles will play Tooleybuc Manangatang in the opening round at Tooleybuc.

Nyah Nyah West

A preliminary finalist in ’23, Nyah Nyah West United made a great run in September.

The Demons fired up to score a 44-point win against Lake Boga in the elimination final and then defeated Woorinen in the first semi by 31 points.

NNWU’s season ended in an 81-point loss to eventual premier, Kerang in the preliminary final.

Massive get for the Corey Daniels-coached Demons was the signing of gun forward Brandyn Grenfell from Marong.

A tally of 264 goals in Grenfell’s run of 35 matches for the Panthers across 2022 and ’23 included a league record 154 goals in the premiership drought-breaking season of two years ago.

Recruits to NNWU include James Barry from Tooleybuc Manangatang, Jackson Hopkins from Port Douglas, and Kyneton’s Jordan and Lucas Iudica.

The Demons will be at Barham for the season opener against Koondrook-Barham.

Swan Hill

The signing of former Melbourne and Port Adelaide player Jimmy Toumpas is a huge plus for Swan Hill as it strives to improve on last year’s 9-7 record and seventh place.

Toumpas joins the Swans after a successful run with Woodville-West Torrens Eagles in South Australia.

Skilful on-baller Michael Herlihy returns from South Bendigo to coach the Swans.

A player to watch  will be Macleod’s Ned McKeown, son of Collingwood key defender Ronnie McKeown.

Swan Hill’s recruits include Cooper Angus, Monash Blues; Brodie Cochrane and Patrick Conlan, Nullawil; Thomas Isma from Woorinen, and Tom Spicer from Tooleybuc-Manangatang.

The Swans have also picked up Clem Harris from Leeton Whitton Crows juniors, Anthony Lewin from Bears Lagoon-Serpentine, Hamish McDonald from University Blues, Heywood’s Nyawi Moore, and Ben Parkes from Golden Square;

Swan Hill plays at Woorinen in round one.


The Saints marked a 10th place finish on a win-loss tally of 2-14 in the ’23 campaign.

Tooleybuc-Manangatang has gained William Bentley from Macorna, Tom Damille from Woorinen, Swan Hill’s Will Garvie, Jackson Morris from Tyntynder, and Norht Adelaide’s Connor Nutting.

Heidelberg’s Jesse Kane, Kai Kearns and Jesse Wilson, Nar Nar Goon’s William Longmire, Moulamein’s Zach Prentice and Jacob Skipsey, and Wandella’s Leighton Wilkins have joined the Saints.

Tooleybuc-Manangatang is on home turf at Tooleybuc to take on Mallee Eagles in round one.


The Bulldogs will be fired up after eighth placing and a 4-12 record last season.

Tyntynder has gained Bailey Jordan, Jarrakye and Tyndarah Kelly and Ryan Tharaka from Swan Hill, Balranald’s Ned Lay, and Waratah’s Jayden Magro.

Other recruits are Lachlan Carroll and Darcy Woodward, Pyramid Hill; Archie Kerr, Woodend Juniors; Matthew King, Caylan Lyons and Mason Sceghi, Woorinen; Lachie Martin, Moulamein; Seth Parkinson, Lake Wendouree; Luke Jones, Daylesford; and Shepparton United’s Marcus Wattie.

Tyntynder tackles Cohuna Kangas in the first round at Swan Hill’s Alan Garden Reserve.


Consecutive defeats across the opening two weekends of the finals series brought an abrupt end to Woorinen’s season.

The Tigers had achieved a 12-4 record and third place at the end of the home-and-away series.

A 75-82 loss to Balranald in the qualifying final was followed by a 28-point defeat at the hands of Nyah Nyah West United in the first semi.

The Marcus Demaria-coached Woorinen welcomes back ruckman Arnold Kirby from Sebastapol.

Newcomers for the yellow and black include Nick Higginbottom and Mitchell Whitfield, Lake Boga; Jack Hughes, Moama; Tom Langford, Waverley Blues; Oak Park’s Clayton McCartney; Luke Merrett, Northcote Park; and Tyntynder’s Josh Stone.

The Tigers are at home to play Swan Hill in the first round.

Nat Dole’s predicitions:

Top five: Kerang, Balranald, Cohuna Kangas, Nyah Nyah West United, Woorinen.

Premier: Kerang.

Goalkicking: Brandyn Grenfell, Nyah Nyah West United.

Best and fairest: Sam Heavyside, Kerang.

Big improver: Cohuna Kangas.