Most of the Hampden League competition will be refreshed and ready to go for a huge second half of the season, which commences this Saturday. The ladder positions are tight and the next few weeks will guide the local football community on who will be the teams close to pushing for finals this year. Interleague football returned last weekend and it was a real pleasure to see both the U23 and U17 teams acquit themselves strongly against the Ballarat Football Netball League at Mars Stadium.
U23 Interleague Football
Despite not returning home with the result we wanted, all of the players who represented the famous Bottle Green guernsey should be extremely proud of their efforts last weekend. The contest was first class, it was faced-paced, quick and slick and most importantly, it highlighted the exciting talent each league has.
A few highlights for me during the match included the form of Koroit young gun Mac Peterson. Mac was tough at the contest, skilful on the outside and penetrating with his ball use. He was well and truly deserving of the Richard Nixon Medal.
I loved the work of Mark Marriott in the ruck. Mark, who has only played a handful of games this year with the Bombers due to VFL duties with Geelong, was the dominant big man on Saturday. He gave his Bottle Green midfielders first use around the stoppages and his work around the ground was impressive.
And lastly, Hamish Sinnott was someone who caught my eye. I’ve watched quite a few games that have featured Hamish and he always continues to impress me. Hamish was a prime mover in the midfield, he took the game on and worked hard both ways up the ground. I would love to see this young fella get more opportunities at the Carlton Blues in the VFL. Hopefully this newly introduced concept is the way of the future and we might see some of our bright prospects lining up in the VFL and AFL competitions over the coming years.
Vardy the Man
The North Warrnambool Eagles will have a new leader in 2024 and it’s a familiar face, with Nathan Vardy stepping into the main role. The succession plan could have not been any smoother with the AFL premiership player stepping into the shoes of legendary HFNL coach Adam Dowie. It will be interesting on whether Vards has a dual role of playing coach next season or whether his latest knee injury allows him to coach from the sidelines. The Eagles have landed a ripper and no doubt his extensive football contact list would be used in trying to lure some role players to help the current batch of players keep progressing up the ladder.
Round 12 Tips
South Warrnambool vs Warrnambool – The Roosters have a host of big ins and will be looking for continuity with their list for the second half of the year. It’s a season-defining game for the Blues, dropping this one could make it hard to play finals. A good tussle between the arch-rivals coming up. I think South Warrnambool will win.
Koroit vs Port Fairy – Both squads are in impressive form and like most matches, the result impacts how the top five can be organised. Port Fairy have won their last four and are near full strength while Koroit in my eyes are building and have won their last three. A terrific game coming up and the result margin will be minimal in favour of Koroit.
Camperdown vs North Warrnambool – Camperdown is playing for their finals life, after a super start, they struggled in recent weeks. They need to make use of the absence of Nathan Vardy. The Eagles are well organised, they have momentum and their method is hard to play against. I think despite missing Vardy, they still win.
Hamilton vs Portland – The old Western Border foes will do battle, with the winner registering their second win. The Kangaroos will be better prepared compared to their last encounter whilst the Tigers have strengthened their list since their last meeting. If Hamilton can kick straight, I believe they win.
Cobden vs Terang Mortlake – Isn’t it great to see these two sides flying. Both have been impressive this season thus far and it would be terrific if both featured in the finals. The Bloods welcome back star power with Hobbs and Taylor returning while Cobden have a settled line-up at the moment. A great exhibition of Hampden Football coming up, I think Terang Mortlake will win.
See you at the Footy