Around the Grounds with Hilly: Round 8

Around the Grounds with Hilly: Round 8

2nd June 2023

It has been a huge week of football, a great round of Hampden League matches in Round 7, the SANFL trying to poach the Portland Tigers in 2024, Hamilton about to embark  on a major facility redevelopment and ex-AFL star Lewis Taylor making his much anticipated return to Terang Mortlake. And we can’t forget Jason Rowan needing only four more goals to equal the record of Tony Russell.

Portland Tigers in 2024?

The Portland Football Netball Club will have a busy few months coming up off-field as they decide their future. The Tigers have been approached by the SANFL to join a redeveloped league in 2024, featuring some of their old foes in South and North Gambier. Portland have been a part of the Hampden league for the last ten seasons, and they have played a big part in the strong branding we have in the South West. After speaking to Tigers president Troy Bannam on the Hampden League Footy SHow this week, there seems to be some interest from club members to look strongly at the proposal whilst it appears there are some who are keen to stay put. In my opinion, it would be a great tragedy to lose the Portland Tigers from our competition. It was sensational to participate in two finals last year in senior football and the momentum seemed to be heading into 2023 before a raft of players left the club for multiple reasons.There is a meeting next week in Portland for supporters, I think it’s important the Hampden League have a presence in the room to listen to the SANFL proposal, before meeting with the Portland Tigers executive to see what we can do better to keep them in the league. 

The Hampden League is thriving as a ten team competition and it would be a great shame to see the hard work of 2012 go out the window, leaving us with a nine team competition. Let’s work together to keep the Portland Tigers in the Hampden League in 2024 and beyond.

League Goal-Kicking Record

The fanfare around Jason Rowan has been significant this year for a number of reasons. Entering the 2023 season, there were two significant milestones that were in reach for the superstar goal-kicker, they were the 1000 goal milestone and the league record of 1020. After eight rounds in, Jason has reached the 1000 goal mark and now is only four goals away from equalling the great record of Tony Russell. It’s a sure thing that ‘Rowey’ will become the league’s greatest ever goal-kicker and coincidently, will break the record at the Seagulls where Rusty played his final years of Hampden League football. Whenever it happens, it’s going to be one of the great modern day moments in the HFNL.

Melville Oval Redevelopment 

Some exciting times are coming up for the Hamilton Kangaroos, as the club is about to embark on a major upgrade of their facility. There will be some significant works occurring over the next 12 months in regard to clubrooms, netball facilities and other infrastructure. These works will be occurring in the coming weeks, meaning the Kangaroos will have to play some of their fixtures at the Dunkeld Recreation Reserve in the latter part of the season against Koroit and Camperdown. Whilst there will be some short term pain in regard to travel and logistics, the benefits the redevelopment will bring the club is significant. I look forward to seeing what the newly redeveloped Melville Oval will look like in 2024.

Round 8 Tips

Port Fairy vs Camperdown – A great result for the Seagulls, drawing with a side that has started the season well. They will have to step it up another notch this weekend as Camperdown are looking for six wins on the trot. The Magpies are playing a great brand of football. I think Camperdown can continue their winning streak.

South Warrnambool vs Portland – South Warrnambool are travelling nicely with a list that has a number of injuries currently. The Portland Tigers received a great boost last round with forward Tom Sharp lining up for his first 2023 game. The Tigers are improving each week but I think South Warrnambool will be too strong.

Hamilton vs Terang Mortlake – Hamilton really pushed Koroit last weekend and this weekend will be aiming to go even further. The Kangaroos to me aren’t playing like a side that haven’t won a game yet and I think a win is nearby. The Bloods will welcome back Lewis Taylor to the fold this weekend, which will be exciting for the Bloods. Terang Mortlake should get the four points.

Koroit vs North Warrnambool – This will be an interesting battle, as both squads have had some disruptions this year with injuries and unavailabilities. Both can play a serious brand of football when they are at their best. I think Koroit narrowly win, in my mind their form is a little bit more consistent.

Cobden vs Warrnambool – TWarrnambool handed Terang Mortlake their first loss of the season last weekend and their method and style seems to be getting better each week. Harry Ryan and Luke Cody are dominating up forward. Cobden will be looking to bounce back after their draw last round and are always hard to beat home. I think Warrnambool can get another scalp.

See you at the Footy!


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