BFNL Round 3 Football Preview


Hawks step into eye of storm at Strathfieldsaye

EAGLEHAWK steps into the eye of a storm when it tackles Strathfieldsaye in Saturday’s third round of senior footy in the Bendigo Bank Bendigo FNL season.

The Hawks are back in action after a round one win against Golden Square was followed by a bye.

Storm is chasing a hat-trick of victories.

The on-ball duels will be a highlight of this match between two clubs who met in last season’s first semi-final.

Key players for Eaglehawk include Billy Evans, Joel Mullen, ruckman Brayden Frost, the athletic Jonty Neaves and full-forward Darcy Richards.

The Travis Matheson-coached Hawks also have versatile big man Clayton Holmes, and a defence that includes Oscar Madden, Charlie Langford and Pala Kuma.

A new-look Storm coached by Luke Freeman has James Schisckha, Malik Gordon and Abe Sheahan in great form in attack.

Crucial roles will be played by Daniel Clohesy, Lachlan Gill, Matt Harvey, and key defenders Ben Lester and Lachlan Ratcliffe.

Another of Storm’s most important players is the experienced Shannon Geary who is a fierce competitor and rarely misses a target by hand or foot.

Another big match will be at Castlemaine’s Camp Reserve where the Magpies take on Golden Square.

The Pies are on the rebound from defeat and Golden Square is yet to claim its first points of the season.

First-year coach Michael Hartley is in superb form in Castlemaine’s attack.

The former Essendon and Hawthorn player kicked seven goals in the loss to South Bendigo.

Hartley’s tally of 12 has him leading the goalkicking race for the Ron Best Medal.

The Magpies began the season with a 69-point victory against Maryborough at Camp Reserve in the stand-alone match on Good Friday.

Players to watch for Catlemaine include Bailey Henderson, Matt Filo, Kalan Huntly, Liam Wilkinson, Callum McConachy and John Watson.

Inaccuracy was a major downfall in Golden Square’s loss to Strathfieldsaye.

The Brad Eaton-coached Bulldogs scored 5.6 in the first half and 13 behinds in the second.

Big test for Dogs’ defenders Jayden Burke, Jon Coe, Zack Shelton and Drew Barrett in this match.

Players to watch for the blue and gold include Jordan Rosengren, Kai Daniels, Tom Strauch, Jack Threlfall and Zack Shelton.

The Dogs also have the running power of Macey Eaton, Harrison Kelly and Zac Tickell.

Kangaroo Flat is on its turf at Dower Park to take on South Bendigo.

The Michael Ellings-coached Roos will have gained plenty of confidence from the win at Maryborough’s Princes Park.

Big challenge for the Roos will be stopping Brock Harvey who kicked nine goals in the Bloods win against Castlemaine.

A Roos’ defence that includes Kyle Symons, Zach Rouse, Toby Balcke and Corey Ash is up against the likes of Will Marks, Jack Francis, Wil McCaig and Steven Stroobants.

In midfield the Roos have Josh Leersen, Lachlan Dalziel and Luke Ellings opposed to Nathan Murley, Brody Haddow and Aidan Avery.

Could be a closely-fought contest, but the Bloods experience is likely to be a key factor.

Gisborne is home at Gardiner Reserve to take on Maryborough.

Premiership-winning captain Pat McKenna marked his comeback to Gisborne’s team by kicking five goals against Sandhurst.

A Dogs’ attack that includes McKenna, Zac Denahy and Harry Luxmoore will have plenty more scoring chances in this match.

Players to watch in the Rob Waters-coached Gisborne team include ruckman Braidon Blake, Brad Bernacki, Flynn Lakey and Matt Merrett.

Massive challenge for all Maryborough players, especially ruckman Ty Stewart, and on-ballers Bailey Edwards and co-coach Coby Perry.

The Magpies’ best against the Roos included Alex Brown, Kya Lanfranchi, Fraser Russell and Bailey Snelling.

Sandhurst has the bye.

Bendigo FNL senior footy ladder:

Sandhurst 253 per cent, 8 points; Strathfieldsaye 147, 8; Eaglehawk 142, 4; Castlemaine 113, 4; South Bendigo 107, 4; Kangaroo Flat 65, 4; Gisborne 82, 0; Golden Square 69, 0; Maryborough 53, 0.

Leaders in the goalkicking race for the Ron Best Medal:

12 Michael Hartley, Castlemaine.

11 Brock Harvey, South Bendigo.

7 Fergus Greene, Sandhurst.

7 Joel Wharton, Sandhurst.

6 Steven Stroobants, South Bendigo.

5 Zach Greeves, Castlemaine.

5 Pat McKenna, Gisborne.

5 James Schischka, Strathfieldsaye.

5 Lachlan Tardrew, Sandhurst.

4 Jayden Burke, Golden Square.

4 Zach Charles, Strathfieldsaye.

4 Kaian Constable, Maryborough.

4 Cobi Maxted, Sandhurst.

4 Fraser Russell, Maryborough.

4 Lachlan Wright, Sandhurst.

4 Anthony Zimmerman, South Bendigo.