Around the Grounds with Hilly

Image supplied by the Standard

One of the great interest points at the beginning of the 2021 Hampden League season was how were the North Warrnambool Eagles going to fare. The Eagles narrowly missed on winning their maiden premiership in 2019, then had recruited extremely well for the 2020 season before COViD forced the cancellation of the season. During the off-season, the Eagles who had recruited Kevin Bourke from Leopold for 2020 wasn’t lining up, Darcy Keast headed back to the GFL, Billie Smedts wasn’t returning while arguably their best player Sam McLauchlan was heading up north to play footy in Queensland, as well as losing a few other players.


So it was going to be interesting how the Eagles would line up. Well, after 5 rounds they are sitting in a great position, having defeated the league leaders in Koroit,  blooded a number of younger players such as Bolden, SInclair, Timms, Greene and their experienced players such as Wines x 3, Dillon, Lewis and Batten have had a strong start to the year. Former Melbourne Demon Dion Johnstone has added some real class to the line up, and his highlight reel is building each week. As we know, the Eagles are well coached and in my mind can really contend for this year’s flag. Hopefully they will have services of Tyrone Vickery more often than not. North Warrnambool I really like the direction you are heading.


Another big round of matches this weekend, especially with a few of the top teams meeting one another. The competition is extremely close and this signified by four teams all sitting with a 4-1 record with only percentage separating them. My tips:


Koroit vs Camperdown – The Saints never lose two in a row and despite Camperdown playing good football, hard to tip against the Saints.

Hamilton vs South Warrnambool – We’ve seen some great footy from Hamilton and some poor footy, up against a great side and I believe the Roosters will win this one.

Portland vs Cobden – Love the brand the crew from Tigerland play, I expect them to be 5-1 after the weekend.

Warrnambool vs Terang Mortlake – I’m tipping the closest game of the round, I think the Blues at the Pond.

Port Fairy vs North Warrnambool – The Seagulls are making positive steps forward with a new list but the Eagles for me.


See you at the footy!
Hilly