A big round of matches is coming up in the Hampden Football Netball League this weekend. Each week is beginning to be very important considering how close the ladder positions are, with only a couple of games separating 2nd to 7th. Late last weekend it was announced that Hamilton coach Hamish Waldron was playing his 250th game. A great servant of both the Hamilton Imperials and Kangaroos. This week Matthew Wines celebrates his 300th senior match, an outstanding achievement by the class midfielder.
Matthew Wines 300 Games
History will be made at the Bushfield Recreation Reserve on Saturday with North Warrnambool midfielder Matthew Wines lining up in his 300th senior game. Matthew’s senior affiliation with the Eagles began in 2005 and have blossomed each year since. The tough midfielder stated on the Hampden League Football Show this week that it took some time in his career to be part of a winning Eagles team, but once that come, improvement has been made each year since, eventuating in three Grand Finals. Matthew has been an outstanding contributor to interleague football over his journey, being a part of many successful campaigns. The man referred to as ‘Snooze’ has been one of my favourite players to call on Hampden LeagueL Live, he is tough, consistent and a hard-working player who always gives best. I reckon a few drinks will be had on Saturday night celebrating a mammoth achievement.
The Kain Train
The emergence of Terang Mortlake has excited the Hampden Football Netball League during the early rounds, with the Bloods currently undefeated. Whilst they have added depth and talent to strengthen their list, young key forward Will Kain continues to develop his forward craft and become one of their most important players.’The Kain Train’ is the co-leader in the Hampden League goal-kicking chase, sharing the honour with Sam Kelly on 20 majors. Will is an exciting prospect. He is strong on the lead, tough in the air and mobile for the ground ball, making him a tough match-up for opposition defenders. I reckon Will is a genuine chance to win the goal-kicking award in 2023. Once Lewis Taylor returns the line-up along with Scott Carlin, young Will is going to be getting silver-service each week.
Sir Doug Nicholls Round
Last weekend the AFL celebrated Sir Doug NIcholls Round, recognising and celebrating indigenous players and culture. It has made me think from a local perspective of some of the great indigenous players to have played in our league. Whilst there have been so many great players, here are some of my favourite players to have watched.
Tim Chatfield – A tough forward who provided many headaches for opposition defenders. Tim had terrific hands and was a beautiful kick at goal. Dominated at VFL level in his mid 30’s.
Jason Misfuld – One of the great Hampden League players of the modern era. Unbelievable work ethic, could play multiple positions, outstanding leader and a matchwinner (the 2003 Hampden League premiership is great evidence).
Adrian Collard and Willie Rioli – Two names that were dominant players for the Mortlake Cats. Both players had a plethora of party tricks, played an unpredictable yet exciting brand and both were capable of great things at a higher level.
Round 7 Matches
North Warrnambool vs South Warrnambool – The Eagles will welcome back some key personnel for the big clash against South Warrnambool. Rodda, Bermingham and Luke Wines add so much value. The incentive to win is huge, with club stalwart Matthew Wines playing game 300. The Roosters will be keen to bounce back and would have analysed their performance to improve this week. I think South will win by a small margin.
Portland vs Camperdown – I’m loving the work of the Camperdown boys on the Swayn Train. They’re playing great team oriented football which is great to watch. Portland pride themselves on playing well at home and historically, these two teams have close games. I’m on the black and white this time around.
Koroit vs Hamilton – Koroit will head into this clash as overwhelming favourites despite club returnee Tom Couch out to injury. The young Saints are getting better week and play an exciting brand of football. Hamilton are searching for their first win, but it unfortunately won’t come this weekend.Warrnambool vs Terang Mortlake – A really intriguing battle coming up at the Reid Oval. The Bloods are flying and I believe their brand will suit the wide expanse of the Reid Oval. I like that Warrnambool got some great connections in their forward 50 last week, as their product is continuing to build. I’m expecting a tight battle with the Bloods prevailing.
Port Fairy vs Cobden – Port Fairy will be confident their brand can produce another win on their home deck this weekend. Cobden had to fight off a brave Portland last round and have experienced some unfortunate injuries and unavailabilities. I’m predicting another close contest with Port Fairy recording their second win of the season.
See you at the Footy