Around the Grounds with Hilly

It was another successful Good Friday clash between South Warrnambool and Koroit last week, with an extremely strong crowd witnessing the top of the table clash. Whilst this specific clash is only two years old, I believe it has to be a permanent fixture as it is a terrific showcase of our league. 


All of the pre-season talk around the teams to beat this season mainly featured North Warrnambool and Koroit, after seeing South Warrnambool first-hand last weekend, they are the real deal and certainly have to be discussed as a major contender. Whilst a lot of their system is very similar to last season, one notable improvement area is their forward line-structure with the addition of Jack Dye, Dylan Weir and second-year Rooster Ricky Handerson. The Roosters looked extremely dangerous in this area and not as predictable as previous seasons with Shannon Beks having to shoulder a significant load. A lot to like about the Roosters in 2022.


We might be only two games into the season for most, already I have been extremely impressed and excited by the amount of underage players making the step-up to senior football. The Hampden League is so fortunate to have a number of great coaches, which is helping some great young talent being fast-tracked and given the opportunity to play at the highest level. Some names I think clubs should be excited to see include Paddy O’Sullivan and Jack Block (Koroit), Reggie Mast and Ethan Boyd (Warrnambool, Hamish Cook (Hamilton), Tate Porter (North Warrnambool, Ryley Hutchins and Xavier Vickers (Terang Mortlake), Oscar Pollock (Port Fairy), Max Irving and Jonah Maher (South Warrnambool), Nick Jones and Ash Royal (Camperdown), Jack Walsh and Kade Lovell (Portland) and Tyler Humphrey and Henry Robertson (Cobden). So much great talent to enjoy this season.


Another big round of matches in the Hampden Football Netball League this weekend, including a Super Saturday clash and an ANZAC Day battle at Melville Oval. My tips:


Port Fairy vs South Warrnambool – Port Fairy face a tough assignment with the Roosters firing early. Another great test but lack the experience to overcome South Warrnambool.


Warrnambool vs North Warrnambool – Warrnambool will be looking to play four solid quarters of football against prime opposition. The Blues have been great in patches and will enjoy another run on the Reid Oval. The Eagles have some injury concerns with a few top-liners, a tight contest with North Warrnambool to get over the line.


Camperdown vs Cobden – An epic battle of two young sides coming up at the Leura Oval. A really hard game to tip but I think the Magpies are always dangerous at home and they have the Sam Gordon factor.


Koroit vs Terang Mortlake – With some key players to return over the coming weeks, the Saints young depth has stood up to the challenge. I like Koroit’s flexibility across the ground and they will be hard to beat, despite the Bloods being very impressive in round two.


Hamilton vs POrtland – What an ANZAC Day Clash coming up, with both teams in good form. I like the Tigers in this game, as they have a deep midfield, some great key backs and a flexible and mobile forward line. The Kangaroos are extremely fit but lack some height. Portland just for me.


I hope everyone gets out and supports their team over the weekend, it’s been a great start to the season with some exciting games and results already. 

See you at the footy.
Hilly