BFNL Round 4 Football Preview


Feathers to fly on Eaglehawk’s turf

FEATHERS will be flying as the Eagles and Magpies meet in the Bendigo Bank Bendigo FNL senior footy match between Eaglehawk and Castlemaine on Saturday.

The Hawks have home-ground advantage at Canterbury Park for when the feature match in the Pat Cronin Foundation Round starts at 2.20pm.

It’s a crucial contest for both clubs on a day when the league throws its support behind the Pat Cronin Foundation and the work it does in raising awareness about the “coward punch” and the ramifications of violence.

The Foundation will be spreading its message and also fund-raising at all four Bendigo FNL venues.

On the field, Eaglehawk and Castlemaine will be keen to bounce back from defeat.

A one-one record has Eaglehawk clinging to fifth place on percentage  from Castlemaine.

The Magpies kicked off the season by winning the stand-alone match against Maryborough on Good Friday at Camp Reserve.

Since then the Michael Hartley-coached Magpies have been beaten by South Bendigo and Golden Square.

The Hawks will be determined to play well before a parochial home crowd.

Eaglehawk’s best in a two-goal loss at Strathfieldsaye were Billy Evans, Bailey Ilsley, Joel Mullen and Clayton Holmes.

A major factor to the Hawks chances will be in attack where it has the marking power of Jonty Neaves and Darcy Richards.

Big test for Magpies’ defenders Jack Sutherland and Liam Wilkinson.

Huge plus for Eaglehawk is the inclusion of Kallen Geary for his first game of the season.

Geary’s non-stop run and precise disposal is a major weapon from defence or through midfield.

Other key players for the Hawks include Charlie Langford at centre half-back, ruckman Brayden Frost, Ben Thompson and Marcus Angove.

In his first year of coaching, Hartley has kicked 14 goals to be second in the race for the Ron Best Medal as leading goalkicker.

The Magpies named the versatile Bailey Henderson in the centre, but the captain can be a major threat inside the forward 50m arc.

Castlemaine will look for big games from the likes of ruckman Lloyd Butcher, Matt Filo, Kalan Huntly, Zavier Murley, Jack Chester  and John Watson.

It’s been 23 years since Kangaroo Flat has beaten Golden Square.

Several in Kangaroo Flat’s team bound for Wade Street on Saturday were not born when the feat was last achieved.

After a brilliant win against South Bendigo last round the Michael Ellings-coached Kangaroo Flat will be confident of finally ending the Bulldogs’ run.

Doing so will not be easy against the Brad Eaton-coached Golden Square which won last Saturday’s match at Castlemaine by two goals.

A huge plus for the Bulldogs is the availability of the brilliant Ricky Monti to play in an on-ball role or attack.

Monti is on Essendon’s list in the VFL.

Best for the Bulldogs at Castlemaine were Tom Strauch, Kai Daniels, Macey Eaton and Dylan Hird.

Players to watch in the blue and gold include captain Jayden Burke, Jordan Rosengren in the centre, Jon Coe, Jack Stewart and Luke Holt.

The Kangaroos had eight goalkickers as they overran South Bendigo to win by 27 points.

Justin Bateson kicked five goals and looms as a big threat, along with Harry Whitty, Ethan Roberts and Jake Hywood.

Big roles to be played by Luke Ellings on a wing, Toby Roberts in the ruck, Toby Balcke, Josh Leersen and Zach Rouse.

South Bendigo is back at Harry Trott Oval in Kennington to take on Gisborne.

The Steven Stroobants and Isaiah Miller-coached Bloods will be fired up after the loss to the Roos.

Brock Harvey kicked eight goals in South’s latest match for a season tally of 19 goals.

The Bloods are up against a team which scored 273 points last round.

South Bendigo will rely a lot on Brody Haddow, Zac Sims, Blake Poyser and Wil McCaig to win plenty of the on-ball and midfield contests.

In attack it will be Harvey, Stroobants and youngsters Will Marks and Zavier Holmes who the Bloods will look to.

Just who takes on Brad Bernacki will have taken up a lot of South Bendigo’s planning.

A tally of 48 disposals, 15 clearances and 274 ranking points earned Bernacki the Guzman Y Gomez Player of the Round last week.

In attack, the Rob Waters-coached Gisborne has Pat McKenna and Harry Luxmoore in hot form.

Ruckman Braidon Blake, ruck-rover Flynn Lakey, Sam Graham, Jack Scanlon and captain Jack Reaper are capable of winning many contests.

Maryborough takes on Sandhurst from 1.40pm at Maryborough’s Princes Park.

Huge challenge for all of Maryborough’s team, especially the midfield and defence.

A Magpies’ team jointly coached by Coby Perry and Matt Johnston will rely a lot on the defensive work of Kya Lanfranchi, Aidan Medlyn, Jack Shay and Alex Brown.

They will be up against the marking power of Fergus Greene and Lachlan Wright, and the elusive Joel Wharton and Nick Stagg.

In the on-ball duels, Maryborough has Liam Maffescioni, Mitch McClure and Coby Perry opposed to Connor Sexton, James Coghlan and Noah Walsh.

Refreshed by the bye, a Sandhurst team coached by Ash Connick, non-playing, and Bryce Curnow, playing, has plenty of running power through the likes of Lachlan Tardrew, Cooper Smith and Alex Wharton.

Strathfieldsaye has the bye.

Bendigo FNL senior footy ladder:

Strathfieldsaye 136 per cent, 12 points; Sandhurst 253, 8; Kangaroo Flat 82, 8; Gisborne 335, 4; Eaglehawk 107, 4; Castlemaine 105, 4; South Bendigo 95, 7; Golden Square 84, 4; Maryborough 28, 0.

Leaders in the goalkicking race for the Ron Best Medal:

19 Brock Harvey, South Bendigo.

14 Michael Hartley, Castlemaine.

13 Pat McKenna, Gisborne.

8 Justin Bateson, Kangaroo Flat.

8 Bailey Henderson, Castlemaine.

8 Harry Luxmoore, Gisborne.

8 James Schischka, Strathfieldsaye.

8 Steven Stroobants, South Bendigo.

7 Jayden Burke, Golden Square.

7 Fergus Greene, Sandhurst.

7 Joel Wharton, Sandhurst.

7 Harry Whitty, Kangaroo Flat.

6 Abe Sheahan, Strathfieldsaye.

5 Zac Denahy, Gisborne.

5 Malik Gordon, Strathfieldsaye.

5 Sam Graham, Gisborne.

5 Zach Greeves, Castlemaine.

5 Jordan Rosengren, Golden Square.

5 Fraser Russell, Maryborough.

5 Jack Stewart, Golden Square.

5 Lachlan Tardrew, Sandhurst.