CRUCIAL matches will be played as the Bendigo Bank Bendigo Football Netball League marks Indigenous Round in the seventh round of the ’22 season.
Feature match is between Golden Square and Castlemaine at Fur Life Oval in Wade Street where the Wirama Shield will be up for grabs in the senior football and A-grade netball.
A day to acknowledge, reflect and celebrate Indigenous culture will include a smoking ceremony at 2pm and feature speeches from representatives of the Dja Dja Wurrung community.
Indigenous Round is part of National Reconciliation Week which runs from May 27 until June 3.
On the football field, Golden Square will be determined to bounce back from consecutive defeats.
The Christian Carter-coached Bulldogs were four-nil, but were beaten by Sandhurst in the clash for the Ron Best Memorial Shield in round five, and then by 15 points on Kyneton’s turf a week later.
There have been several changes to the blue and gold line-up.
Ins are wingman Will Thrum, Jarrod Fitzpatrick and Will Lee.
Out are Drew Barrett, Harrison Burke and Tanner Rayner.
A powerful on-ball and midfield line-up for the Bulldogs includes Jack Geary, Terence Reeves, Ryan Hartley, Hamish Morcom and Jake Thrum.
In attack, Joel Brett and Jayden Burke have been well held the past two matches.
Castlemaine’s defence led by Jackson Hood, Kaleb McBride, David Stephens and Bailey Henderson could be in for a tough afternoon.
The Magpies are on rebound from a 38-point loss at home to Kangaroo Flat at Camp Reserve.
Key players for the Magpies include ruck-rover Tom Cain, Tommy Horne on a wing, rover Will Moran and Riley Pedretti at half-back.
High workrate at centre clearances and stoppages, and plenty of defensive acts will be a key for the Don Moran-coached Magpies in this contest.
It’s fourth against fifth as Eaglehawk and Kyneton clash in the Borough at Canterbury Park.
Both teams were in great form in the sixth round.
Eaglehawk scored a 15-point victory against Sandhurst in the Pat Cronin Foundation match played at Queen Elizabeth Oval.
An Eaglehawk attack that includes the marking power of Darcy Richards, Shaun Knott, Ben Thompson and now Sean Williams will test the Tigers.
The Hawks’ leading goalkickers against Sandhurst were Liam Marciano and Sean Williams, three each; Shaun Knott and Darcy Richards, two.
Hawks’ on-ballers such as Noah Wheeler, Billy Evans and Dillon Williams won plenty of the footy against the Dragons.
The Paul Chapman-coached Tigers will be keen to build on an impressive victory against Golden Square.
Ins for Kyneton are Guy Dickson, N O’Sullivan and Louis Phillips for Ben Cameron, Joshua Smiley and Ethan Turner.
The yellow and black will be primed for this challenge in front of the vocal Eaglehawk crowd.
Dean Bartrop, Frazer Driscoll and Harrison Huntley have played key roles in the Tigers’ charge to fifth on the ladder.
Kyneton’s attack which includes Cameron Manuel, Rhys Magin, Ryan Pretty and Cameron Wallace will test the Hawks.
A tough run for South Bendigo keeps on rolling.
Beaten by 104 points on Gisborne’s turf at Gardiner Reserve, South Bendigo is back on the QEO to tackle a red-hot Strathfieldsaye.
Brock Harvey was the Bloods’ only multiple goalkicker against Gisborne, but South has the likes of Kaiden Antonowicz, Michael Herlihy and Will Keck to trouble Storm’s back six.
Massive blows for the Bloods were on-ballers Liam Byrne and Cooper Leon being out, along with the hard-running Blake Poyser.
Ins are Jesse Sheahan, Regan Harvey, Jayden Sheean and Lachlan Furness.
The Bloods named a ‘from’ bench of five.
Limiting Storm’s ability to win stoppages and charge into attack will be a key to the game plan of Bloods’ coach Nathan Horbury.
The Bloods will again need big games from the likes of Isaiah Miller, Daniel Johnstone, Cameron Taggert, Zac Hare, Sam Langley and Braydan Torpey to challenge Storm.
Strathfieldsaye scored 33 goals against Maryborough as Kallen Geary, seven; and Malik Gordon, four, led the way.
Sidelined last week because of a leg injury, gun forward Lachlan Sharp was named in Storm’s team.
Players to watch in a formidable team jointly coached by Darryl Wilson and Shannon Geary include Jake Moorhead, James Schischka, Jake Hall, Caleb Ernst and Baxter Slater.
Kangaroo Flat tackles the unbeaten Gisborne on the Roos’ ground at Dower Park.
The Roos won 81-43 at Castlemaine as Mitch Rovers, four goals, and Lachy Wilson, three, led the attack.
Back at the Flat after a one-season stint with Sandhurst, Rovers was best afield in the Roos’ latest hit-out.
This match is a massive test for him and on-ball team-mates such as Liam and Mitch Collins, Jade Mayes up against the likes of Brad Bernacki, Flynn Lakey and Scott Walsh
The Bulldogs were without Pat McKenna and Jack Scanlon, but scored 23 goals against the Bloods as Josh Kemp and Matt Merrett, four; Sebastien Bell-Bartels and James Fox, three, led the way.
Gisborne regains Pat McKenna in attack, but will be without classy small forward Ethan Foreman, hamstring injury, and the talented Matt Merrett.
A powerful line-up includes Braidon Blake in the ruck, Jack Reaper, Jaidyn Owen and Liam Spear in defence; the running power of Nic Doolan and Sam Graham.
Maryborough faces Sandhurst at Princes Park.
The Magpies are coached by Rick Andrews, a premiership-winning on-baller with the Pies in ’99 and then at Sandhurst in 2004.
Maryborough was thrashed in Storm territory, but the play of young ruck-rover Aidan Hare, key defender Kya Lanfranchi, and midfielder Coby Perry were a huge plus.
The Magpies will look for big games from the likes of Chris Freeman, Dylan Harberger and Jayden Hooper.
The Ash Connick-coached Dragons will be fired up after a loss to Eaglehawk.
The elusive Joel Wharton kicked a match-high five goals against the Hawks, and in-form key forward Cobi Maxted is back after playing for Collingwood’s VFL team last week.
A talented team that includes Lee Coghlan, Alex and Joel Wharton, Matt Thornton, Hamish Hosking, Noah Walsh, Blair Holmes and Zach Pallpratt will ensure the Dragons keep the heat on those in the top five.
Bendigo FNL senior footy ladder:
Gisborne 331 per cent, 24 points; Strathfieldsaye 212, 20; Golden Square 220, 16; Eaglehawk 142, 16; Kyneton 104, 12; South Bendigo 85, 12; Sandhurst 101, 8; Kangaroo Flat 68, 8; Castlemaine 36, 4.
Leaders in the goalkicking race for the Ron Best Medal:
27 Joel Brett, GS.
22 Jayden Burke, GS; Rhys Magin, Kyn.
20 Josh Kemp, Gis.; Lachlan Sharp, S’saye.
18 Pat McKenna, Gis.
17 Brock Harvey, SB.
15 Cameron Manuel, Kyn.; Cobi Maxted, Sh; Darcy Richards, Eh.
13 Kaiden Antonowicz, SB; Jack Scanlon, Gis.
12 Matthew Merrett, Gis.
11 Liam Marciano, Eh; Ryan Pretty, Kyn.; James Schischa, S’saye; Ben Thompson, Eh; Braydon Vaz, GS; Lachy Wilson, KF.
10 Kallen Geary, S’saye; Mitch Rovers, KF; Joel Wharton, Sh.
9 Lewin Davis, Eh; Ethan Foreman, Gis.; Tom Strauch, GS.
8 Jack Chester, Cm; Chris Freeman, Mb; Shaun Knott, Eh.
Written by Nathan Dole.