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Over the last decade, we have welcomed a number of former AFL players into our competition as well as seeing recent exports return . We have been privileged to watch the likes of Daniel Nicholson, Tim McIntyre, Josh Saunders and Michael Barlow in recent times. It certainly brings enthusiasm to the league.
Last weekend local football supporters had the opportunity to see former Adelaide Crow and Hawthorn player utility Ricky Henderson line-up for South Warrnambool while ex Richmond Tiger and Hawthorn big-man Tyrone Vickery made his debut for the North Warrnambool Eagles, and from all reports both players were very solid contributors. It is terrific to see these former AFL players identify the Hampden League as a destination competition, and already this season we have had the pleasure of seeing Shane Savage running around for Port Fairy. Whilst each of these players bring a tremendous skill-set, the leadership and mentoring of the younger players cannot be underestimated, hopefully some of their guidance will help the league’s next batch of young stars participate in the NAB Cup, VFL, SANFL, WAFL or even AFL.
As we wait patiently for the multi-million dollar development of the Reid Oval to be completed, a number of other Hampden League clubs have heavily invested in improving their infrastructure. Last weekend Camperdown unveiled their new lights against arch-rivals Cobden in-front of a big crowd. Some of the pictures I have seen of the oval lit up, including one from a drone, look absolutely sensational and the Magpies should be very proud. Hopefully we will see a few more games under lights at the Leura Oval in the future.
The Portland Tigers and Warrnambool Blues opened up their accounts last weekend for 2021, while Koroit and Camperdown continued their undefeated start to the season. Most of the games have provided supporters with a good spectacle and some great goal-kicking displays. Let’s have a look at the matches for round three.
North Warrnambool vs Warrnambool – This encounter should be a high quality game, with both sides boasting strong midfielders and talented forward lines. The Eagles are always hard to defeat at their home-ground and will narrowly get the job done.
Cobden vs Koroit – The Bombers have yet to register a win in 2021 but have been extremely competitive and in a winning position in their first two matches. The clash with the reigning premiers will present another test, but I think Koroit will win this one. Sam Dobson is starring for the Saints, and already would have a few Maskell Medal votes to his name.
South Warrnambool vs Camperdown – Both sides are located inside the top three, and supporters should be in for a hard and exciting contest. The Roosters are slowly back a number of players and will be extremely hard to overcome when at full strength whilst the Magpies are playing with great confidence. Sam Gordon will again be an important cog for Camperdown up forward. I’m tipping South Warrnambool.
Terang Mortlake vs Port Fairy – Both teams aiming to achieve their first points of the season. The Seagulls will go into the match as favourites after a promising performance last round. I think the Seagulls will win.
Portland vs Hamilton – I am anticipating a fast brand of football between two young and emerging sides. The Tigers were impressive last weekend with Jennings, Mitchell, Richardson, Dunlop impressing. Hamilton have recruited some great youth and experience with ex VFL player Lachie Waddell starting the season impressively. Both sides will be doing their utmost to win this ANZAC Day clash. I like Hamilton just.
See you at the Footy.