BFNL Round 8 Football Preview


Storm strives to end Sandhurst’s run

STRATHFIELDSAYE will be striving to break Sandhurst’s unbeaten streak in Saturday’s eighth round of the Bendigo Bank Bendigo FNL senior footy action.

It’s third against first when the clash starts at 2.20pm on Storm’s turf at Triple M Park in Tannery Lane.

For Sandhurst there’s more than premiership points to be won.

The Dragons will be determined to pay tribute to club legend Danny Ellis who passed away this week.

A talented forward in his time with the Dragons, Danny’s association with the club lasted more than 40 years.

A past president, secretary, treasurer, there were not many tasks Danny did not do around the den.

A remarkable contribution was recognised by being inducted to the Sandhurst FNC Hall of Fame.

The Ellis family has done so much on the footy and netball front at the Dragons.

Danny Ellis epitomised everything about being a great clubman and volunteer.

On the footy field the Dragons will be focused on marking a seventh consecutive victory.

It will not be an easy task against an opponent on the rebound from defeat for the first time this season.

Storm’s James Schischka was in superb touch as he kicked seven goals in last Saturday’s match at Gisborne.

Strathfieldsaye also has Caleb Ernst in for consecutive games.

The athletic forward has played six VFL matches with Coburg this season.

Malik Gordon also makes a timely return for the Luke Freeman-coached Storm.

A Strathfieldsaye defence led by Lachlan Ratcliffe, Patrick Blandford and Ben Lester faces another daunting task.

Gun recruit Fergus Greene has kicked 33 goals for the Dragons and is leading the race for the Ron Best Medal.

Greene is a key cog in a powerful attack that includes Bryce Curnow, a premiership winner with Storm, and Lachlan Wright.

Midfield duels will be a highlight.

Storm has Daniel Clohesy, Matt Harvey and Lachlan Gill to take on Lachlan Tardrew, James Coghlan and Nick Stagg.

Chasing its third win of the season, Castlemaine has brought in former Melbourne player Neville Jetta to take on Gisborne at Camp Reserve.

It’s a huge coup by the Michael Hartley-coached Magpies to have Jetta join them.

This season he’s been playing for Fitzroy Stars, but also had a one-off game for Corowa-Rutherglen.

Jetta played 159 games for Melbourne from 2009 until 2021.

A career high was the Jim Stynes Community Leadership Award for his work with Indigenous youth.

Jetta’s skills will be on display, most likely from a forward pocket or half-forward flank as Castlemaine takes on the in-form Gisborne.

Last week’s win by Castlemaine in the Indigenous Round feature match at Kangaroo Flat has put the Magpies in sixth place.

Huge challenge for Castlemaine defenders Liam Wilkinson, Jack Sutherland, Tyson Hickey and John Watson up against Zac Denahy, Pat McKenna, Jack Scanlon and Harry Luxmoore.

Major strength of the Rob Waters-coached Gisborne line-up is the on-ball brigade of ruckman Braidon Blake, Jackson Cardillo, Flynn Lakey and Brad Bernacki.

Castlemaine will need big games from the likes of Kalan Huntly, Zavier Murley, Ben McConachy and Ryan Eyre.

Golden Square is on home turf at Fur Life Oval in Wade Street against South Bendigo.

It’s a danger game for the Bulldogs who start this round in fourth place.

The blue and gold is a win and almost 40 per cent clear of the Bloods.

Highlight of this match will be the goalkicking exploits of Golden Square captain Jayden Burke and South Bendigo star Brock Harvey.

Key players for Golden Square include Jordan Rosengren in the centre, Jon Coe at centre half-back, Jack Stewart, Kai Daniels and Tom Strauch in attack.

It’s been an extended break for South Bendigo which played in the first week of the split sixth round and then had the bye.

Talented teen Zaydyn Lockwood will play his second senior game of this season for the Bloods.

A key position player with the Bendigo Pioneers in Coates Talent League, Lockwood represented Victoria Country in a Young Guns match in April.

The play of co-coaches Steven Stroobants and Isaiah Miller, captain Zac Hare, centreman Anthony Zimmerman, Brody Haddow, Blake and Tait Poyser will be crucial to the Bloods outrunning the Bulldogs.

Eaglehawk is back on home turf at Canterbury Park to take on Maryborough.

The Hawks will be without Clayton Holmes as he serves a one-match ban for striking.

On-ballers Joel Mullen, Billy Evans and Marcus Angove are likely to win plenty of the footy.

In attack the Hawks have the marking power of Jonty Neaves, Cameron McGlashan and Jack O’Shannessy.

Kyen Burrill-Grinton was named on a half-forward flank for his senior debut with the Two Blues.

In a season where depth is being tested by injuries, Maryborough keeps on playing with plenty of spirit.

Co-coaches Coby Perry and Matt Johnston are doing a superb job on and off-field for the Magpies.

Highlight was the play of ruckman Tom Myers who racked up 53 hit-outs and 17 disposals against Golden Square to earn the latest Guzman y Gomez Player of the Round award.

A goal in this match, as it’s been every round for Maryborough is to win a quarter or two.

Key players for the Magpies include Kya Lanfranchi, Fraser Russell, Aidan Medlyn, Ash Humphrey and Sam Johnston.

Kangaroo Flat has the bye.

Bendigo FNL senior footy ladder:

Sandhurst 421 per cent, 24 points; Gisborne 249, 20; Strathfieldsaye 138, 20; Golden Square 120, 12; Eaglehawk 99, 12; Castlemaine 97, 8; South Bendigo 82, 8; Kangaroo Flat 59, 8; Maryborough 16, 0.

Leaders in the goalkicking race for the Ron Best Medal:

33 Fergus Greene, Sandhurst.

32 Brock Harvey, South Bendigo.

26 Pat McKenna, Gisborne.

25 James Schischka, Strathfieldsaye.

23 Harry Luxmoore, Gisborne.

20 Michael Hartley, Castlemaine.

19 Jayden Burke, Golden Square.

18 Lachlan Wright, Sandhurst.

16 Steven Stroobants, South Bendigo.

14 Jack Stewart, Golden Square.

13 Bryce Curnow, Sandhurst.

13 Jonty Neaves, Eaglehawk.

13 Darcy Richards, Eaglehawk.

12 Zac Denahy, Gisborne.

12 Malik Gordon, Strathfieldsaye.11 Brad Bernacki, Gisborne.

11 Bailey Henderson, Castlemaine.

11 Noah Walsh, Sandhurst.

11 Harry Whitty, Kangaroo Flat.

10 Zach Greeves, Sandhurst.

10 Lachlan Tardrew, Sandhurst.

9 Justin Bateson, Kangaroo Flat.

9 Cobi Maxted, Sandhurst.

8 Abe Sheahan, Strathfieldsaye.

8 Nick Stagg, Sandhurst.

8 Ben Thompson, Eaglehawk.

8 Joel Wharton, Sandhurst.

7 Angus Grant, Kangaroo Flat.

7 Lachie Hood, Sandhurst.

7 Sam Graham, Gisborne.

7 Matt Merrett, Gisborne.

7 Fraser Russell, Maryborough.