Welcome to this year’s HFNL Football and Netball Competitions. After 2 years of interrupted seasons, everyone will be eager to get their 2022 Campaigns up and running.
With perfect weather conditions expected for the opening round this weekend we can all look forward to witnessing some great contests across all grades of football and netball.
In the off season there was quite a few changes in the Coaching ranks. Sharon Kenna has taken charge of the bloods, Leah Sinnott has returned to Camperdown after a short stint with the Timboon Demons and Will Jamieson, the first male Netball coach the league have had for many years, will guide a young South Warrnambool squad. Nat O’Dea is the newly appointed coach at Hamilton Kangaroos, Kate Dobson will ably lead the Saints and Michelle Fincke has returned to the Open coaching position at Portland. Skye Billings (North Warrnambool), Sophie Hinkley (Cobden), Renae Taylor (Port Fairy) and Raewyn Poumako (Warrnambool) will continue their Coaching roles from last year with their respective Clubs.
This week at the Bendigo Bank Recreation Reserve the Cobden FNC will unveil their new Netball facilities. Whilst the construction of the new courts and spectator shelters has proven to be a challenge, no doubt the bombers will be excited to host alot of great matches for many years to come. To facilitate these type of upgrades it takes a great deal of work from many members of the Club and the Community so congratulations to all involved.
Early in the season many of the Clubs will be experimenting with their new recruits and trying to gauge how they will fare for the rest of the season. At this early stage of the Competition I anticipate (in no particular order) Cobden, South Warrnambool, Koroit, North Warrnambool Warrnambool and Hamilton will all feature in the top 6 positions of the ladder at the end of the home and away season. Hamilton Kangaroos have the potential to cause a few upsets early and will be the big improvers in season 2022.
For this week, Cobden take on South Warrnambool at Cobden. I think the experience of the Cobden players will help them settle early and will open the season with a narrow win over the Roosters. Hamilton travel to Victoria Park to take on the Koroit Saints. This will be a big test for the Kangaroos early in the season, they will be competitive but may find the task a bit too much this week – Koroit should get the points here. Camperdown and Terang Mortlake will do battle at Leura oval. Both teams have a few new players and may take a couple of games to settle into their game plan. I think the bloods will open their campaign with a win. Port Fairy play the North Warrnambool Eagles at home. I believe North Warrnambool will be strong contenders for a top 3 finish this year and will get off to a good start with a win over the seagulls.
Warrnambool host Portland Tigers at the newly developed Reid Oval. Whilst I think Portland will have another competitive season and may cause a few upsets, Warrnambool will have too much experience in this game and will earn the 4 points here.
Good Luck to everyone for the 2022 Season. Let’s hope we can get through the next 6 months without too many challenges and best of luck to all the Teams competing this weekend.
Author: Josie Logan