Bloods Up and About
Terang Mortlake have been one of the pleasing stories during the second half of the Hampden League season. The Bloods have shown significant improvement, winning four of their 5 games since round 10. The Blood’s youthful midfield of Hutchins, Vickers, Kenna and the Roberts brothers is exciting. They have a genuine tall forward Will Kain, who has the potential to be anything and Gus Bourke has had a career-best season off half-back. Hopefully the list remains, they can add two or three new recruits and begin their return to finals action.
Port Fairy Rising Star
Despite Port Fairy having its battles on-field this season, one positive has been the emergence of some highly talented junior players. One player that sticks out for mine is Segade Lucardie. Segade has been a shining light and looks to be a player, with strong ball winning skills and finishing skills. The 16 year old who made his debut this season was born in Ireland, grew up in Cambodia and Vietnam. He came to Australia in 2020 and played his first full season of competitive football in 2021 with the Seagulls U16 team. Segade is a product of the Hanoi Swans Vietnam Auskick Program. The youngster’s father Dan has former allegiances with the Hampden League previously playing with Mortlake. A young footballer to keep an eye on in 2023 and beyond.
Maskell Medal Chances
This has been a topic I have been thinking about, who will win this year’s Maskell Medal? As we know it’s generally a midfielders award but could we see a forward take it out. The season Portland Tiger spearhead Tom Sharp has put together is impressive as is the season of Koroit star Sam Dobson. Both players have kicked lots of goals this year but each week are contributing in other ways to ensure team success. Other names I believe will feature strongly in the votes are South Warrnambool trio Archie Stevens, Josh Saunders and Ollie Bridgewater, Warrnambool’s Damian McCorkell, Tigers captain Daniel Jackson (I reckon top three), Koroit midfielder Alex Pulling and North Warrnambool’s Jett Bermingham. It’s a wide open race and whoever is crowned the winner, will be well-deserved.
Round 17 Matches
Hamilton vs Camperdown – Despite being two key soldiers short heading into this clash, Hamilton will be hoping to record a win in their last home match of the year. The challenge will be restricting Sam Gordons influence, as he is a dangerous player if the supply is regular and clean. An interesting match, I’m leaning towards the Kangaroos.
Terang Mortlake vs South Warrnambool – I am loving the Bloods second half of the year, they’ve shown some great signs and hopefully further improvement comes in 2023. Unfortunately they’re up against an inform South Warrnambool, which will be a real tough task. The Roosters are getting almost all of their personnel back, they will be hard to beat.
Port Fairy vs Warrnambool – Some great news during the week was Port Fairy confident of fielding a senior team after last week’s difficult decision. Warrnambool are starting to find some form and building some self-belief in the finishing rounds before finals. The Blues for mine.
Portland vs Koroit – Portland are not playing their football leading into the finals, sustaining another very surprising defeat last round. Their final two games are against the league’s top two teams and that will be a real test. Koroit had a week off and will be freshened up. The Saints will be too strong.
North Warrnambool vs Cobden – A game where North Warrnambool can’t take their lower-ranked opposition too lightly, with Cobden showing continual improvement under first year coach Dan Casey. The Eagle lost a couple of warriors last round to injury and will be hoping a few big names will return. Cobden will be ultra competitive but in my mind will fall marginally short.