The Hampden Football Netball League is proud to announce the introduction of an U15 Talent Identification and Development Program in 2024.
The four-week program will be led by HFNL Talent Identification & Development Program Coordinator Brett Taylor and Western Bulldogs Academy coach Ben Walsh.
The aim of the program is to improve the opportunities for Hampden players, giving them every opportunity to realise their potential to compete in the elite talent pathways programs such as V-Line Cup, Coates Talent League, VFL and AFL.
The inaugural squad of 35 will comprise of players from across all Hampden FNL clubs.
Program Coordinator Brett Taylor says this is a critical period for physical and skill development for young footballers.
“The program aims to develop skills and knowledge in an environment focusing on refining technical skills, decision making skills and game strategies through ball centred activities and modified games,” he said.
HFNL Talent Identification & Development Program Squad
Camperdown – Paddy Hassett, Zavier Fowler
Cobden – Darnel Nguena, Leonard Walsh
Hamilton Kangaroos – George Clark, Angus Ewing, Riley Iredell, Charlie Baker, Isacc Lehmann, Harry Mercer
Koroit – Dylan Delaney, Mitchell McCosh, Blake O’Keefe
North Warrnambool – Jake Denaro, Charlie Jellie, Max Hogan, Hamish Ross, Caleb Stuart
Port Fairy – Louis Greene, Hugh Allen, Harry Pollock
Portland – Judd Carter, Jensen Moore
South Warrnambool – Jacob Lucas, Paddy Sell, Jimmy Stevens, Patrick Ragg, Mali Lual
Terang Mortlake – Mason Barr, Tayte McMaster, Sam Wareham
Warrnambool – Toby Hellessey, Archie McGrath, Jasper Moore, Oliver Turner
The HFNL currently have a rewarding opportunity for an Administrator.
The successful candidate for this role will undertake a diverse range of responsibilities.
About you –
The hours for this job are negotiable for the right candidate. A confidential conversation to discuss this and to learn more about the role is encouraged. Please contact Shane Threlfall 0447977009.
Annual Salary Package between $70,000-$85,000
For a copy of the job description please email- firstname.lastname@example.org
Applications to be sent to HFNL President Shane Threlfall at email@example.com and should include a cover letter and a comprehensive resume.
Applications close 5:00pm Sunday 19/11/2023.
Annual General Meeting
Monday 11 December 2023
Commencing at 7:00pm
Flying Horse Bar and Brewery
Applications are called for the following Positions on the HFNL Independent Executive from the date of the Annual General Meeting for the terms of office as indicated.
One Year Term (President)
Executive member – Two Year Term (8 positions)
Further information and official application forms may be obtained from the HFNL Administration by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by phoning 0438559780.
Another big shout out to the Host Clubs for last week’s Semi Finals. A very big thank you to the Terang Mortlake FNC and the Port Fairy FNC who hosted a fantastic weekend of Football and Netball especially after the horrendous weather conditions we all endured last Friday.
A Cap of Last Week’s Games
South Warrnambool have secured their spot in next week’s Grand Final after a comfortable win over Cobden. The Bomber’s were no match for the minor premiers with the Rooster’s winning almost every position on the court. Ally O’Connor was outstanding through the centre and Hollie Phillips was hard to stop in the attacking circle. Amy Hammond and Jaymie Finch combined well in attack but had limited opportunities to capitalise. South Warrnambool went on to win by 24 goals.
In the first Semi Final on Sunday, Warrnambool took on Koroit at Port Fairy. With no more than five goals adrift for most of the game, the spectators were kept entertained. Molly McKinnon, shooting 25 of her team’s goals, played some of her best netball to give Koroit the edge and were able to gain a goal or three each quarter. Amy Wormald played her 150th Open game for the Blue’s but it was not enough to spur her team to a spot in this week’s Preliminary Final. The Saints were eventual winners 44 – 36.
There were some exciting games being played out in other grades and the following teams have made it straight through to the Grand Final
13/U – Hamilton Kangaroos 15/U – South Warrnambool
17/U – Koroit 17/UR – South Warrnambool
Div 3 – Hamilton Kangaroos Div 2 – Hamilton Kangaroos
Div 1 – Cobden
Game times have been changed for this week’s Preliminary Finals. Listed below is the schedule for this Saturday.
9.00: 15/U Terang Mortlake V North Warrnambool 13/U: Koroit V South Warrmambool
10.00: 17/U Terang Mortlake V Warrnambool Div 2: Port Fairy V Koroit
11.15: Div 3 Port Fairy V Terang Mortlake 17/UR: Cobden V Warrnambool
1.45: Open Cobden V Koroit
My prediction for this Week
Cobden had the upper hand when they last took on the Saints. Whilst I know anything can happen in finals, I anticipate the Bombers defence will be back on top this week and will be well supported with accurate shooting at the other end. The Saints have a young developing team and will be all the more stronger next season but I think this will be a big ask of them this week.. Cobden should come away with a solid win and have another shot at a Premiership Title.
In other Grades this week:-
13/U – Koroit V South Warrnambool – I think South Warrnambool will win in a close battle.
15/U – Terang Mortlake V North Warrnambool – Terang Mortlake risk going out in straight sets and North Warrnambool have been playing some of their best netball, I think Terang will win just.
17/U – Terang Mortlake V Warrnambool – Terang Mortlake won their last encounter in the Qualifying final and Alice Suhan has been out with Injury. Eva Ryan has been instrumental in attack for the Blues but I think the Bloods can do it again.
17/UR: Cobden V Warrnambool:- Cobden took out the minor Premiership and have been setting the standard all year. The Bombers should advance to next week..
Div 3: Port Fairy V Terang Mortlake:- Terang Mortlake have been the stronger of these teams during the season and showed great form in their Semi final. The Bloods for me.
Div 2: Port Fairy V Koroit:- The Div 2 competition has been super close this season and any team is capable of going all the way. Port Fairy will be keen to make amends for their narrow loss last year and will be determined to get the win.
Div 1:- Koroit V Hamilton Kangaroos:- Koroit have had the upper hand between these two teams during the Home and Away rounds but the Kangaroos with no Open team to field, may have more players up for selection. In a tight contest the Kangaroos may just get over the line.
Good Luck to all Teams, both Football and Netball, competing this weekend. Looking forward to some more great contests in the beautiful Spring weather.
South Warrnambool are the first team to book a ticket into the 2023 Hampden League Grand Final. The Roosters were sensational in their 2nd Semi Final clash against North Warrnambool at Ridley Recreation Reserve. North Warrnambool will now use their second chance this weekend, when they take on the exciting Terang Mortlake at the Reid Oval. The scenarios at the end of this weekends Preliminary Finals are exciting, with South Warrnambool and North Warrnambool potentially locking horns for the first time in a season decider, while if the Bloods are victorious, it will be the first in 27 years these two sides will battle for silverware.
Roosters Flying High
It was the best team we have seen on paper from South Warrnambool this year, and after half time, it looked like a collective unit that would be hard to stop. The Roosters were strong around the ball, having so much inside and outside talent to move the ball forward. Once South Warrnambool’s leading midfielders started getting their hands on the football (Youl, Stevens, Rantall, Saunders), they were hard to stop. The forward line of the red and white is talented. Star forward Shannon Beks marked everything and potentially could have had a day out with several goals but finished with three majors, well supported by the likes of White, Irving, Dye.The defensive unit of the Roosters is tight and hard to break – all six defenders are strong one on one players but their ability to zone off and create transitional movement from the back 50 is elite . Harry Lee and Issac Thomas were outstanding while Thompson and Mullen were very sound. They will be extremely hard to dethrone in a fortnight’s time at home of football.
It could be one of the tightest Maskell Medal counts we have seen for some time, with a host of players in strong contention. A lot of the general public have identified the years of Mercovich, Sully, Arundell, Lewis, Beks, Hoy, Smith, Hutchins, Sinnott, Spence and O’Sullivan as first rate. Our Hampden League Live Player of the Year leaderboard was tight, with only a couple of votes separating first, second and third.
So, who are my predictions for Sunday’s coveted award? Here is my top two and smoky;
Winner – Kaine Mercovich (Port Fairy): Port Fairy rebounded hard in the Hampden League this season, finishing just outside the top five. One of the main reasons why the Seagulls were strong and tough competition, was the form of star midfielder Kaine Mercovich. The number 48 is a ball-winning beast and uses it so effectively. He is extremely strong at winning the contested ball and he set-up a number of plays up forward for the Seagulls, building some nice synergy with forward Jason Rowan. Kaine, in my opinion, is one of the hardest working midfielders in the competition and is a very capable goal-kicker.
Runner Up – Jarryd Lewis (North Warrnambool): What a year it has been for the experienced Eagle. He spent the first five rounds in his normal position in the forward line before a move into defence to cover the loss of Luke Wines. Jarryd has been given a licence to run and rebound at all costs and what a success story it has been. His disposal numbers have been high, his kicking efficiency is elite and he has been amongst the Eagles best players weekly for the second half of the season. The move has been a master-stroke by Adam Dowie and I think if Chopper was to claim this year’s award, it would be celebrated amongst the competition, as he is one of the fairest players in the league.
Smoky – Ollie Bridgewater (South Warrnambool): Ollie has emerged as one of the premier big men of the competition in 2023. The Roosters star has had a terrific season, which included selection in the U23 Hampden League team. While Ollie’s ruck craft is continuing to develop, so is his ability to find the ball around the ground and use it effectively. He is going to be an important player in the Grand Final. I think Ollie will receive a number of votes, especially being so close to the umpires on the ground.
Preliminary Final Tip
If we have a replay of the Qualifying Final, this weekend’s game is certainly going to be a thriller. It was a tale of two halves a fortnight ago and again, it will be a battle of attrition on the wide expanses of the Reid Oval. After a strong start, Terang Mortlake had their run and go style blocked, making it harder to score, running the ball through the wings. North Warrnambool will need to make sure their midfield group is full of run and carry on the big ground, as the Bloods will flourish at the venue. The Eagles will welcome back Nathan Vardy, he was sound last weekend and will be better for the run. I expect he will play more ruck time, but if forward – he, Parish and Batten need to be better not crowding each other’s space, which was evident in the 2nd Semi Final. The Bloods were tough in the 1st Semi Final. The Kain Train was on fire, but this weekend he will need more help from another big target. I would love to see Alex Moloney play forward to try and stretch the Eagles defenders. A big game is coming up. North Warrnambool aiming for another Grand Final appearance in succession whilst Terang Mortlake haven’;t qualified for one since 2008.
I think Terang Mortlake will win by 7 points.
Hope you enjoy the footy
Week 1 of the AFL finals delivered ecstasy for some of our local exports and heartbreak for others.
The first of our exports to feature over the weekend was Sam Walsh, with his Carlton side recording a spirited win over Sydney at the MCG on Friday evening.
The Blues hit the front early and held off a surging Swans to win their first final in 10 years, with Walsh playing a key role for the victors.
The midfielder had a game-high 28 possessions, laid six tackles, had six clearances and sent the ball inside 50 nine times in a best on ground performance.
Walsh and Carlton will now meet the Demons in the semi-final at the MCG on Friday night, with the winner to play Brisbane for a spot in the decider.
The following day saw Rowan Marshall’s strong season come to an end when St Kilda was defeated by GWS Giants at the MCG.
The Giants kicked out to an early lead and rarely looked troubled as they strolled to a 24 point victory, with Marshall one of the Saints best.
He was dominant across the ground as he collected 31 touches, 18 hit-outs and nine clearances to go alongside a goal.
Giant Toby McMullin missed out on selection in the victory.
The final game saw Brisbane Lions and Hugh McCluggage square off against Port Adelaide Power featuring Willem Drew and Ken Hinkley at the GABBA.
McCluggage and the Lions got the last laugh as they stormed to a 48 point victory, booking a home preliminary final in the process.
The South export was prolific for Brisbane, finishing the contest with 26 touches, nine clearances and a goal, while Drew played a key role for the Power in nullifying Lachie Neale’s influence, restricting him to 19 touches while collecting 20 disposals himself.
The Power will now meet the Giants at the Adelaide Oval on Saturday night, with the victor to face Collingwood at the MCG in the preliminary final.
Meanwhile, Josh Corbett and Peel Thunder will have to qualify for the WAFL Grand Final via the preliminary final after losing the second semi-final to East Fremantle. The Thunder went down by five points in a thrilling game, with Corbett kicking a goal from five possessions.
Pictured: 17 & Under Netball Rebekah Moroney Memorial Medal Winner Scarlett O’Donnell with Mick and Loretto Moroney.
See a wrap of all of the award winners below from the 2023 HFNL Junior Awards Night.
South West TAFE 13 & Under Reserves Netball Best and Fairest
Winner: Lottie Wilkinson, South Warrnambool
Runner-Up: Athena Chivell, Cobden
South West TAFE 13 & Under Netball Best and Fairest
Joint Winners: Lexie Dwyer, Port Fairy & Molly Sevior, Hamilton Kangaroos
Runner-Up: Charlotte Hinds, Camperdown
South West TAFE 15 & Under Reserves Netball Best and Fairest
Winner: Stella Patterson, South Warrnambool
Runner-Up: Layla Nicholson, Warrnambool
South West TAFE 15 & Under Netball Best and Fairest
Winner: Indianna Cameron, Camperdown
Runner-Up: Lara Carke, Terang Mortlake
South West TAFE 17 & Under Reserves Netball Best and Fairest
Winner: Shelby Cameron, Cobden
Runner-Up: Paige Kermeen, South Warrnambool
South West TAFE 17 & Under Netball Rebekah Moroney Memorial Medal
Winner: Scarlett O’Donnell, Koroit
Runner-Up: Ella Sevior, Hamilton Kangaroos
South West TAFE Under 14’s Football Stuart Brunt Medal
Winner: Oliver Turner, Warrnambool
Runner-Up: Jimmy Stevens, South Warrnambool
South West TAFE Under 14’s Football Goal Kicking Award
Winner: Max Horgan, North Warrnambool Eagles – 38 Goals
South West TAFE Under 16’s Football Doug McConnell Medal
Winner: Sam Rhodes, South Warrnambool
Runner-Up: Hugh Fitzgerald, Hamilton Kangaroos
South West TAFE Under 16’s Football Goal Kicking Award
Winner: Archie Tepper, Koroit – 46 Goals
What an amazing weekend of Finals played in perfect Spring conditions. Congratulation to both the Camperdown FNC and the Portland FNCC who hosted a fantastic first week of finals and there were some closely contested games of netball played across both days.
In the main game on Saturday, Cobden had a very strong first quarter and took a nine goal lead into the first break. Koroit tightened up the contest for the remainder of the game but the defensive pressure from the Bombers was very effective, limiting the Saint’s scoring opportunities. Cobden were eventual winners 47 – 29. On Sunday in Portland, when Warrnambool took on the Hamilton Kangaroos , the Blues took the early lead with a five goal buffer going into the second quarter. The Kangaroos challenged the Blues in patches and had the momentum in the last quarter but inaccurate shooting cost them dearly late in the game. Warrnambool went on to win 42 – 38.
Junior Netball Best and Fairest Awards
Congratulations to all the Award winners at this year’s Junior Best and Fairest Count last Monday night.
There were some outstanding results across all grades of netball. Congratulations to the following winners.
13/U Reserves: Winner – Lottie Wilkinson, South Warrnambool FNC; Runner Up – Athena Chivell, Cobden FNC.
13/U: Joint Winners – Lexie Dwyer, Port Fairy FNC & Molly Sevior, Hamilton Kangaroos FNC; Runner-Up – Charlotte Hinds, Camperdown FNC
15/U Reserves: Winner – Stella Patterson, South Warrnambool FNC; Runner Up – Layla Nicholson, Warrnambool FNC
15/U: Winner – Indiana Cameron, Camperdown FNC; Runnup Up – Lara Clarke, Terang Mortlake FNC.
17/U Resereves: Winner – Shelby Cameron, Cobden FNC; Runner Up – Paige Kermeen, South Warrnambool FNC.
17/U Rebekah Moroney Memorial Medal – Winner – Scarlett O’Donnell, Koroit FNC; Runner Up – Ella Sevior, Hamilton Kangaroos FNC.
My Top Picks for the Dot Jenkins Best and Fairest Award
The Dot Jenkins Medal Best and Fairest Count, along with all the other Grades of netball Best and Fairest Awards are being counted next Sunday, September 17th.
South Warrnambool took out the Minor Premiership and will have lots of Best on Court votes – I anticipate Annie Blackburn and Ally O’Connor will be amongst the leaders board as the final votes are counted. Sophie Barr has had a consistent season and Remeny McCann has had another stellar year. Can Remeny take out Back to Back medals? Millie Jennings has been amongst the better players for the Saints often throughout the season, as has Maddison Vardy from the North Warrnambool Eagles. Amy Wormald has also had a great Season with the Blues.
My Predictions for this Week
I’m looking forward to witnessing two great contests this weekend in the Open Netball. On Saturday at Terang, South Warrnambool and Cobden play off for a place in the Grand Final. Their home and away record is one a piece and both teams are capable of producing high quality netball. Accurate shooting and high pressure defence are skills both teams possess. I think the difference between the two sides is through the centre court and perhaps the Roosters will have the edge over the Bombers. I expect the game to be close but I tip South will get over the line narrowly. On Sunday at Port Fairy, Warrnambool come up against Koroit. This will be another tightly contested match and once again I think the game will be won through the centre court. Warrnambool last week displayed great composure and were a much more settled side than their opponent but I believe Koroit’s young talent through the centre court will be hard to break and will probably be the difference between the two sides. Koroit will get over the line in another close game.
Good Luck to all teams competing in Finals this weekend.
The AFL Finals Series kicked off on Thursday, with a number of our local exports named in sides over the coming days.
Carlton’s Sam Walsh will line-up in his first final for the Blues when they host Sydney Swans in the elimination final at the MCG on Friday evening (7:50pm).
The following day Rowan Marshall will feature for St Kilda against the GWS Giants in the second elimination final also at the MCG (3:20pm).
Port Fairy product Toby McMullin was also in line for selection for the Giants, having played the last three matches but was an unlucky omission when teams were announced.
The second qualifying final will see Hugh McCluggage and Willem Drew go head-to-head at the GABBA on Saturday evening (7:25pm).
McCluggage’s Brisbane Lions earned the right to host Drew’s Port Adelaide Power after the two sides finished second and third on the ladder, with the victorious club set to enjoy another week’s break and a home preliminary final.
Meanwhile, Fremantle’s Josh Corbett has been named for Peel Thunder ahead of its second semi-final clash with East Fremantle in the WAFL on Saturday.
Corbett kicked two goals from seven touches in the Thunder’s qualifying final win over Subiaco last weekend.
The opening weekend of the Hampden Football Netball League Finals Series was an overwhelming success with beautiful weather and two exemplary games of football.
North Warrnambool and Terang Mortlake played out a thriller, with the Eagles prevailing by a point in front of a large crowd at the picturesque Leura Oval. The dominant premiership reign of the Koroit Saints came to an end on Sunday in the Elimination Final, with Cobden producing one of their best performances of the season to qualify for the 1st Semi Final. Whilst the Saints will be disappointed not to progress, we have to look back at their past seven seasons especially and just marvel at their heroics. An unbelievable football club and I don’t think they will be down for too long, watch them bounce back in a big way in 2024.
Hampden Junior Awards
On Monday night, the Hampden Football Netball League Junior Awards were staged. In front of a big crowd, young Oliver Turner from the Warrnambool Blues was crowned the 2014 Stuart Brunt Medallist for the U14 competition, while exciting South Warrnambool midfielder Sam Rhodes won the U16 Doug McConnell Medal. It was an exciting U14 count with Oliver winning on 28 votes in his first season with the Blues, he finished three votes ahead of South Warrnambool premiership captain Jimmy Stevens on 25 votes, while North Warrnambool leader Charlie Jellie capped off a dominant season with a third placing on 23 votes. It has been a whirlwind season for Sam at Roosterland, with the son of former South Warrnambool star and ex Western Bulldogs recruit Jacob Rhodes, making his senior debut in the final round of the season against Portland with two goals. Sam won the count on 30 votes, with his nearest rival Hugh Fitzgerald of the Hamilton Kangaroos the next best with 19 votes, following a terrific year in the midfield group. One of the biggest applause came for new Koroit cult-hero Archie Tepper, when he was announced as the leading goal-kicker with 50 goals for the season. An exciting talent and a name we should be watching out for in the years to come.
C-MAC is Back at the Saints
There are only a few more coaching positions that need to be confirmed in the Hampden League for 2024, and a familiar face will once again lead the powerful Koroit Saints. Club legend Chris McLaren will once again take the reins at Victoria Park, continuing on the job he has held from 2017. Chris, in my mind, is one of the modern great coaches, tactically he is one of the best in the competition but his biggest strength is the relationships he develops with his players and his ability to get the best out of his players. Despite being knocked out in Week 1 of the finals, he would have been absolutely rapt with the progression of his young team this season. There are a lot of positives that can be reflected on and that will hold the Saints in good stead for the next season. A terrific appointment and its great to have one of the best still having a strong passion for the coaching caper.
2nd Semi Final
A ticket to the Hampden Football Netball League Grand Final is on offer at the Ridley Recreation Reserve this weekend when minor premiers South Warrnambool take on North Warrnambool in the 2nd Semi Final. The Roosters enjoyed the first week of the finals off, which allowed a number of key players to rest some niggling injuries. The Roosters are expected to get quite a few big names back including Henderson, Anderson, Archie Stevens and Sam Thompson. We haven’t seen what South Warrnambool’s best 22 looks like this season, but we might see it on Saturday, a formidable team on paper. North Warrnambool, who have a good record against the Roosters, could welcome back some important players this weekend, with star big man Nathan Vardy likely to return along with small forward Felix Jones and defender Reece Scoble. The Eagles will be happy with the predicted rain and tightness of the Terang ground, allowing them to play their defensive brand of football, covering the corridor and causing stoppages don’t think we will witness a high scoring affair and it will be a match determined by who can break through the oppositions defence and score. A huge match is coming up and I think South Warrnambool will narrowly win.
1st Semi Final
This is going to be an entertaining clash between two sides that love to use the football quickly, through the corridor and try to out-run teams. It is terrific to see two eastern clubs return to the finals, and last week both looked very impressive on how they moved the football so fluently. Cobden will welcome back Jesse Williamson to the line-up, returning after a hamstring injury last week and what flexibility it gives the Bombers up forward and potentially allowing captain Paul Pekin to play more midfield time. Big man Mark Marriott showed his importance last weekend, dominating the aerial battle and showing his versatility around the ground. Terang Mortlake were consistent all game last week, they just failed to capitalise some good looks up forward when the game mattered most.The Bloods need a little more help for Will Kain, he was dangerous with four goals, but there is a big reliance on the Kain Train to kick goals, that was evident last weekend. I would like to see a Lachie Wareham or Rhys Buck take more control in the forward line to help Kain, as well as Luke McConnell staying a little deeper forward, nipping at the heals of the star full-forward. It could be one of the best matches of the season at the Gardens Oval. I love the journey the Cobden Bombers are on and I believe they will win by 8 points.
Let’s hope for a brilliant second weekend of finals action.
See you at the Footy