LVFNL Round 1 Football Preview


Penalty fires Eagles for opener

DOCKED 12 premiership points before the season starts, Maiden Gully YCW Eagles will be fired up for Saturday’s start to the Bendigo Bank Loddon Valley FNL senior footy clash with Calivil United.

The LVFNL board this week imposed the points penalty and $10,00 fine, $5000 suspended, as Maiden Gully YCW will not field an under team in the league for a third consecutive season.

As that scenario plays out Maiden Gully YCW’s new coaches Shawn Filo, non-playing, and Angus Monfries, playing, have the task of getting the team to be fully focused on beating the Demons.

The clash in the Eagles nest starts at 2.15pm.

After guiding Lake Boga into last season’s Central Murray finals, Filo and Monfries have taken on a new challenge at the Eagles.

In a 211-game AFL career across Essendon and Port Adelaide, Monfries kicked 211 goals.

Whether it be across half-back, in the middle or closer to goal his experience and leadership is a huge plus for a young Eagles squad.

Monfries and Josh Worsley are co-captains at Maiden Gully YCW.

New players for the Eagles include Todd Delaney, Jonathan Farrar, Josiah and Will Farrer, Jack McHutchison, Declan Phyland, Jaxon Thompson,  Dylan Turner and Mitch Whitham.

The Anthony Dennis-coached Calivil United has plenty of new faces as it strives to improve on last season’s tally of three wins and eighth place.

Recruits for the Demons to play in round one are Patrick Cunningham, Sam Green, Sam Maher, Hamish McGregor, Jacob Mulquiny, Ronan Sheehan, Kane Shelton, Liam and Mitchell Stephens, Darcy Thompson and Brodie Wagner.

Last season’s preliminary finalists, Bears Lagoon-Serpentine and Pyramid Hill meet in the Bears den at Gadsden Finance Serpentine Reserve.

A key cog in Sandhurst’s defence for several seasons, Jake Wilkinson tackles senior coaching with the Bears.

Huge test for BLS in round one against last year’s runner-up.

The Bears have welcomed back Nathan Twigg and Darcy Hawker from Boort and also recruited tough midfielder Ross Turner from Mitiamo.

Another key cog will be former Fremantle Dockers forward Josh Mellington who has moved to the den from Benalla.

Tyler Miles and Doolan Nihill are key recruits from Maiden Gully YCW and White Hills.

The Nathan Fitzpatrick-coached Bulldogs are bolstered by the return of forward Braidy Dickens, Mick Dundon and Brad Ladson.

A Harding medallist when at Calivil United, Ben Knight has switched kennels from North Bendigo to Pyramid Hill.

The classy Jaydon Cowling was recruited from Charlton.

Damon Hemphill and Bailey Scott have made their way from Modewarre to Mitchell Park.

A formidable team in red, white and blue includes Zach Alford, Ed Caburnay, Dylan Collis, Steven Gunther and Seb Relouw.

Bridgewater’s star-studded recruits Andy Collins, Lee Coghlan and Lachlan Sharp are in the Mean Machine’s team for the home clash with Newbridge.

Coach of Bridgewater’s premiership teams in 2014 and ’15 and player in the flag victory of ’16, Collins is back at the club after a stint with Sandhurst.

Whether it be in midfield or attack, Collins brings plenty of running power and experience from AFL level with Richmond and Carlton to the club.

Coghlan and Sharp are both premiership winners at Sandhurst and Strathfieldsaye respectively, and also earned the Michelsen Medal as fairest and best in the Bendigo FNL.

A multiple winner of the Ron Best Medal as leading goalkicker and premierships, Sharp also takes on a role as assistant coach to Rick Ladson.

Bridgewater’s lucrative recruiting spree also landed the likes of Boden Alexander, Harry Conway and Jack Neylon to team up with Josh Martyn, Harry Donegan, James Naughton and Alex Pollock.

Massive test for a Newbridge team again coached by Sam Gale, playing, and Daniel Smith, non-playing.

Recruits for the Maroons include Ed and Jono Aujar from Murrabit, Ballarat’s Tyler Constable, Jackson Hufer from Mount Pleasant, Matt McArthur from Powelltown, and Andrew Padbury from Violet Town.

Ruckman Ricky Cathie has rejoined Newbridge after a stint with Wandella and will play a crucial role along with Will Daly, Dylan Lloyd, Chris Dixon, Caleb Argus and Tyler McLeod.

Marong will unfurl the ’23 premiership flag before it tackles Mitiamo in the Panthers’ den at Malone Park.

The Linton Jacobs-coached Marong no longer has the firepower of Brandyn Grenfell who has joined Nyah Nyah West United after passing the century mark the past two seasons.

A formidable attack for the Panthers still has Kain Robins to lead the way and joined by Matt Riordan and Ryley Taylor.

Marong has also welcomed back Ryan Wellington after stints with Mitiamo and Eaglehawk.

Other recruits for the Panthers include Todd Davies from Waaia, Shaun Knott from Westmeadows, Eaglehawk’s Sam Dean, Cooper Hale from Maiden Gully YCW.

Jonty Davis has kicked off the season by playing in the Bendigo Pioneers winning hat-trick in the Coates Talent League and will play for Marong this Saturday.

It’s been a far more settled pre-season for the Jon Varcoe-coached Mitiamo than it was leading into the ’23 campaign.

Recruits for the Superoos include Kia Coatsworth, Ryan Duncan, Sean Hanrahan, Bryce Laird, Lachlan and Liam Shiell, and Jack Vinnicombe.

Inglewood has the bye.

The Fergus Payne-coached Blues are on home turf at Centre State Scaffolding Oval for a round two showdown with Bears Lagoon-Serpentine.