BFNL Round 11 Football Preview | Dogs face surging Storm at Golden Square


GOLDEN Square will try to halt Strathfieldsaye’s winning surge in Saturday’s 11th round of senior footy action in the Bendigo Bank Bendigo FNL season.

Teams are back in action after last Saturday’s general bye.

It’s a short-lived rivalry of less than 15 years, but in that time the Bulldogs and Storm have played out many classic contests.

When they met in round two, Golden Square won 101-94 at Triple M Park in Strathfieldsaye’s Tannery Lane.

This Saturday’s showdown at Fur Life Oval in Golden Square’s Wade Street  may be another as both are riding on winning streaks of six and five games.

Since consecutive defeats in rounds three and four the Christian Carter-coached Golden Square has struck back brilliantly.

A 13-goal loss at home to Eaglehawk in round five meant Strathfieldsaye had a 2-3 record.

The Darryl Wilson-coached Storm is on a five-game winning streak.

Both teams are stacked with plenty of talent.

A formidable Golden Square attack includes Joel Brett, last season’s Ron Best medallist as the league’s leading goalkicker, along with the marking power of Jayden Burke and Braydon Vaz.

It’s a daunting task for Storm defenders Patrick Blandford, Lachlan Ratcliffe and Ben Lester.

Storm’s forward line is brilliantly led by captain and dual Ron Best medallist Lachlan Sharp.

Other key targets inside forward 50m for Strathfieldsaye are James Schischka and Caleb Ernst.

They will be up against a dogged defence in blue and gold led by Jon Coe, Jack Hickman and Zack Shelton.

Across midfield, Square has Liam Barrett, Ryan Hartley and Zavier Murley to take on Darcy Mulquiny, Callum McCarty and Lachlan Gill.

Square has the running power and skill of Jack Geary, Ryan Hartley, Ricky Monti and Tom Toma.

Bulldogs’ long-time ruckman Matt Compston is up against Tim Hosking.

Key players at ground level for Storm include Riley Wilson, Luke Webb, Lachlan Bonney and Bode Stevens.

South Bendigo takes on Kangaroo Flat at Harry Trott Oval in Neale Street, Kennington.

The Bloods and Roos are both on the rebound from defeat.

It’s been a dramatic time at Kangaroo Flat since the loss to Sandhurst on June 24.

Then-Roos’ coach Nathan Johns was reported for threatening and abusive language toward an umpire, and making contact with an umpire after the match.

Johns was handed a four-match suspension by the BFNL independent tribunal and had his contract terminated by the club.

Assistant coach Jeremy Hayes is Kangaroo Flat’s interim coach.

The Nathan Horbury-coached Bloods are fourth on a 6-4 record.

Key players for South Bendigo include Brody Haddow in the centre, ruckman Mac Cameron, Brock Harvey and Steven Stroobants in attack, Braydan Torpey and Andrew van Heumen in defence.

The Kangaroos will look for big games from the likes of co-captains Mitch Collins and Ethan Roberts, Jordan and Zac Rouse, Harry Whitty, ruckman Toby Roberts, and Ryan O’Keefe.

The Roos did show in a three-point win against Eaglehawk they can be a dangerous opponent.

Unbeaten and on top of the ladder, Sandhurst is back at Queen Elizabeth Oval to play Kyneton.

It’s a crucial contest for the Paul Chapman-coached Tigers as they fight to stay in touch with the top five.

An extremely challenging task for Kyneton against a Sandhurst line-up that has Matt Thornton, Lachlan Wright and Cobi Maxted.

The Dragons also welcome back co-coach Bryce Curnow to the field, while Ash Connick coaches from the sidelines.

A talented Sandhurst line-up includes James and Lee Coghlan, Andy Collins, ruckman Hamish Hosking, Nick Stagg, Noah Walsh and Joel Wharton.

Tigers’ plans for a massive upset rest greatly on the play of Cameron Manuel, Thomas Quinn, Harrison Huntley, Hamish Yunghanns, Mitch Comben and Jayden Eales.

A premiership winner at Gisborne last season, Ethan Foreman is back with the yellow and black.

A skilful small forward, Foreman could do some damage, but will rely a lot on quality and quantity of supply.

Gisborne returns to Gardiner Reserve to take on Castlemaine.

The Brad Fox-coached Bulldogs were superb across the opening three quarters in their latest hit-out at Strathfieldsaye, but could not Storm’s run in the final term.

Gisborne’s best in that match were Matt Merrett, Flynn Lakey and Frank Schipano.

Bring the intensity it had at Strathfieldsaye a fortnight ago and Gisborne should mark its fourth win of the season.

The Bulldogs have the premiership-winning on-ball combination of Braidon Blake, Brad Bernacki and Flynn Lakey teaming up again.

Other key players for Gisborne include captain Jack Reaper, Seb Bell-Bartels and Zac Denahy.

The Dogs also have Matthew Barake to play his second senior match.

A tally of 40 disposals, which included 23 contested, earned Castlemaine on-baller Matt Filo the Barry Plant Player of the Round award as the Pies beat Maryborough in the 10th round.

Filo will again play a key role for the Magpies who also welcome back key position player Bailey Henderson.

Castlemaine’s best in a hard-fought 19-point win against Maryborough included Brodie Byrne, Ethan Hein, Tyson Hickey, Callum McConachy and Riley Pedretti.

Massive test for a Magpies’ defence that includes Brendan Josey, John Watson, Ashton Frankling and Thomas Wilson.

Other players to watch are Brodie Browne-Kerr, Ben Moran and Jackson  Byrne.

Maryborough is on home turf at Princes Park to take on Eaglehawk.

The Coby Perry-coached Magpies played well to hold a nine-point lead at three-quarter time of the match at Castlemaine, but could not stop the home team’s charge in the last.

Best for the Borough in that match were Brady Neill, Mitch McClure and Kya Lanfranchi.

The Magpies face another enormous challenge against a Hawks line-up which regained confidence and form as it beat South Bendigo by 56 points last round.

The Magpies will rely a lot on the pressure applied by Riley Hamilton, Joel Swatton, Coby Perry, ruckman Ty Stewart, Luke Bucknall and Jai Howell at centre ball-ups and stoppages.

They are up against Hawks’ playmakers such as Jack and Ben Thompson, Joel Mullen, Connor Dalgleish, Noah Wheeler and Billy Evans.

Eaglehawk key forward Darcy Richards will be keen to play well against his former club.

Bendigo FNL senior footy ladder:

Sandhurst 246 per cent, 38 points; Golden Square 227, 32; Strathfieldsaye 154, 28; Eaglehawk 202, 26; South Bendigo 140, 24; Kyneton 87, 20; Gisborne 114, 12; Kangaroo Flat 55, 12; Castlemaine 40, 8; Maryborough 18, 0.

Leaders in the goalkicking race for the Ron Best Medal:

45 Joel Brett, Golden Square.

44 Lachlan Sharp, Strathfieldsaye.

32 Brock Harvey, South Bendigo.

26 Will Keck, South Bendigo.

26 Steven Stroobants, South Bendigo.

26 Lachlan Wright, Sandhurst.

23 Cameron Manuel, Kyneton.

20 James Schischka, Strathfieldsaye.

20 Braydon Vaz, Golden Square.

18 Matt Thornton, Sandhurst.

17 Lewin Davis, Eaglehawk.

16 Andy Collins, Sandhurst.

16 Ryan Hartley, Golden Square.

16 Darcy Richards, Eaglehawk.

14 Callum McCarty, Strathfieldsaye.

14 Cam McGlashan, Eaglehawk.

14 Nick Stagg, Sandhurst.

13 Hamish Morcom, Golden Square.

13 Thomas Quinn, Kyneton.

13 Harry Whitty, Kangaroo Flat.

12 Jed Brereton, Strathfieldsaye.

12 Matt Merrett, Gisborne.

11 Hugh Freckleton, Golden Square.

11 Dylan Hird, Eaglehawk.

11 Harry Luxmoore, Gisborne.

11 Liam Marciano, Eaglehawk.

11 Noah Wheeler, Eaglehawk.

10 Billy Evans, Eaglehawk.

10 Zavier Murley, Golden Square.

10 Jack O’Shannessy, Eaglehawk.

10 Baxter Slater, Strathfieldsaye.

10 Tom Toma, Golden Square.

10 Jordan Wilson, Strathfieldsaye.