It is the second week of the split round and we have three terrific matches scheduled in the Hampden Football Netball League. All three fixtures can have a significant bearing on the make-up of the top five and even more importantly, the top three.
Whilst it hasn’t been the season the Warrnambool Football Netball Club would have liked in regard to wins and losses, there is an excitement already heading into the 2024 season. A high volume of players have committed to next season already, including the leadership team of Sam Cowling, Mitch Bidmade, Jye Turland and Jackson Bell. It also appears that 2023 recruits Nick Hooker, Ryan Warfe, Heath Morgan-Morris and Steve Lampton look set to stay as well. The Blues have a good nucleus of experienced players as well as some emerging youth coming through but just lack a little bit of top-end talent. There is no doubt that coach Dan O’Keefe will tap into his extensive football network and try to entice some extra star-power to the club next season. A great start to the 2024 season for the Warrnambool Football Netball Club.
Hampden Rebels Star
It was terrific to welcome the Coates Hire League back to the Reid Oval on the weekend, with the Greater Western Victoria Rebels taking on the Geelong Falcons. For local football fans, it was a welcomed win, but the thing that was great to see was the dominance of the local Hampden players, with five out of the six best players from our region.
South Warrnambool’s George Stevens continued his outstanding form with best on ground honours, Koroit forward Connor Byrne led the Rebels with five goals, Rooster Luamon Lual continues to impress with his dash and poise off half back while Will Rantall and Rhys Unwin were also strong contributors. It is simply inspiring to see the amount of young guns stepping up on the next stage from the Hampden League.
Round 15 Tips
South Warrnambool vs Terang Mortlake (HLL Match of the Day) – South Warrnambool are starting to regain a full complement of players heading into the back end of the season, and going by their round 14 clash, they are building and building strongly. Terang Mortlake are likely to welcome some key personnel over the next few weeks in their pursuit of a top three finish. The Bloods got the job last time these two teams met but I think South Warrnambool will reverse this and take the four points.
Port Fairy vs North Warrnambool – Wow, what a crucial match for both sides competing. North Warrnambool are holding a spot inside the top three whilst Port Fairy are bursting to get inside the top five. The Eagles are likely to welcome a few players back, no more important than skipper Adam Wines. Port Fairy are playing with great confidence and their list seems to be pretty healthy. This encounter could come down to the wire. I think the Seagulls can keep their finals dream alive and record a narrow victory.
Portland vs Cobden – Huge match for the Cobden Bombers with Port Fairy trying to overtake them inside the top five but also a win, could elevate them in top three territory as well. The Bombers are playing a great brand of football and I’ve loved the inclusion of Michael Koroneos for forward structure, allowing the likes Williamson, Pekin and Hammond to create more chaos. POrtland will be hoping the next four weeks can be strong and it helps build a platform for new coach Lachie Hupputz in 2024. I’d love to see Portland get another victory but Cobden will be too tough.