Bendigo renews footy rivalry with Ballarat


ANOTHER chapter in the sporting rivalry between Bendigo and Ballarat will be written this Saturday when the junior footy leagues from both cities clash on Ballarat’s turf.

Five matches will be played to decide the La Trobe University-backed Goldfields Challenge.

It’s another huge challenge from the rising stars of the Bendigo JFL as they strive to take the cup off Ballarat’s hands.

Matches for the girls will be played at C.E. Brown Oval as the boys compete at Frank Bourke Oval.

The under-14 girls will play from 10.15am.

A Bendigo team coached by Kellie Dadd and Kym Wheelhouse includes players from seven clubs.

Assistant coaches of the team are Molly Metcalf and Brock Pinner.

Nine players from Sandhurst and five from Strathfieldsaye Storm will join forces in the blue and gold.

The under-14 line-up includes Kangaroo Flat’s London Benaim, Matilda Rose and Lora Soko; Golden Square’s Annabelle Carr; Zara Grieve from St Francis; Eaglehawk’s Imogen Brown, and Marong clubmates Molly Austin, El Taylor and Alyssa Wardell.

An under-16 girls match will be played at C.E. Brown from 11.45am.

Bendigo’s team is coached by Molly Metcalf and Brock Pinner.

Assistant coaches are Kellie Dadd and Kym Wheelhouse.

The strength of the Sandhurst team is shown by eight players being selected.

Coaches also chose three players from Strathfieldsaye and three from White Hills.

Also to represent Bendigo are Rochester’s Ella Treacy; Castlemaine’s Tegan Barry, Kate Batchelor, and Shelby Kitchingham; Golden Square’s Ruby Demeo; and Eaglehawk’s Dekoda Fitzpatrick.

Action at Frank Bourke Oval begins at 10am when the under-13 boys clash.

Bendigo is coached by Luke Monaghan who brings a wealth of experience from stints with Bendigo Pioneers, Eaglehawk seniors, and at Strathfieldsaye.

The assistant coach is Daniel Chamberlain.

Bendigo’s squad includes six players from Strathfieldsaye Storm teaming up with South Bendigo’s Blaine Anderson and Harvey Long, Golden Square’s Archer Lethlean, and Miller Polglase from White Hills.

In-form players for Bendigo include Sandhurst’s Louis Travaglia and Knox Westley, Kangaroo Flat’s Beau Blythman and Austin Coghill, Maiden Gully YCW’s Harry Clapp, Castlemaine’s Declan Brasher, and Rochester’s Asher Rasmussen.

The under-14 boys team coached by Kevin Roberts will play from 11.30am.

Assistant coaches are Matt Keating, David Hancock and Ash Wilson.

Five team-mates at Sandhurst Dragons were selected.

A strong group includes Jasper Morcombe and Jack Moresi from Maiden Gully YCW, Golden Square’s Jake Rosa and Charlie Macumber, Rochester’s Harvey Keating, and South Bendigo’s Noah Poole.

Also keen to perform well in the famous blue and gold will be Harrison Condliffe and Campbell Keele from Lockington Bamawm United, Eaglehawk’s Jack Frankel, Xavier Stone and Cale Hinton, and Strathfieldsaye Storm trio Sam Cook, Keelan McInerney and Darcy Tyler.

Finale to the challenge will be the under-15 boys match from 1.15pm.

Bendigo’s coaching group is Noah Furlong, Leigh Stevens, Justin Gordon and Ed Dickens.

A squad of six from Strathfieldsaye in the team includes Mykhail Geary, Jordan Mathews and Sam O’Bree.

They will team up with Maryborough’s Oliver Cassidy, Kangaroo Flat’s Lachlan McKay, Castlemaine’s Harper Kneebone, and Sandhurst’s Riley Travaglia.

A group of 11 clubs represented in the under-15 team includes Lockington Bamawm United, Maiden Gully YCW, Rochester and South Bendigo.

Players to watch for Bendigo include Golden Square’s Billy Buhagiar, Josh Kelly, Mack Skinner and Logan Wilson, and Blaine Schelfhout from White Hills.

Full Schedule Teams for Saturdays Goldfields Challenge are below