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Around the Grounds with Hilly: Round 10


Part 2 of the Hampden Football Netball League season will kick off this weekend with a return round of matches occurring. All clubs are set to enter Round 10 with healthier lists available due to the bye round last weekend. Clubs will play two games before the interleague bye round and the next fortnight promises to be extremely important for those sides wishing to play finals this season. There are a number of eight-point games coming up.

Milestone Men

Three terrific servants of the Hampden Football Netball League will play in significant milestones this weekend. North Warrnambool star Jarryd Lewis will play in his 200th senior game. What a recruit ‘Chopper’ has been since arriving from Coleraine. He is the ultimate team player, a beautiful user of the football and a real hard competitor. Jarryd is one of the favourite sons at the Eagles and will be heavily supported at Bushfield this weekend. Terang Mortlake duo Ryan O’Connor and Matthew Arundell will play their 150th and 100th senior games respectively. Both big men bleed royal blue and red and have been the ultimate club players. Each Saturday, both Ryan and Matthew play the game in great spirit and are important players in the Terang Mortlake line-up. Congratulations to Jarryd, Ryan and Matthew on their outstanding contribution to the North Warrnambool Eagles and Terang Mortlake.


We are two weeks away from interleague football at the Reid Oval. The Bottle Greens will be training twice during the week of the game at Mortlake and the Reid Oval with coach Jonathan Brown leading the way. Members of the victorious 1991 Division One VCFL championship will be in attendance on the Thursday night jumper presentation, sharing their interleague experiences with the current crop of players. All is shaping up to be a great day at the Reid Oval on July 6th.

Round 10 Matches

North Warrnambool vs South Warrnambool (Bushfield Oval)

Hamilton Kangaroos vs Cobden (Hawkesdale)

Koroit vs Warrnambool (Victoria Park)

Terang Mortlake vs Camperdown (Mortlake)

Port Fairy vs Portland (Gardens Oval)

See you at the Footy.

Around the Grounds with Hilly: Round 9


The Hampden Football Netball League this week announced its U23 Interleague Training Squad, ahead of its July 6th appointment with the Ballarat Football Netball League. The coaching staff selected a 38 man training squad, they will spend a day together at an AFL Match before two training sessions in the week of the interleague fixture. South Warrnambool have the strongest representation with eight players, names such as Will White, Archie Stevens and Jay Rantall have been included. It was rewarding to see some new exciting players get the opportunity to train and potentially make the final squad, such as Cobden’s Ben Berry, Hamilton’s Will Povey and Ethan Knight and Port Fairy’s Ollie Myers. The HFNL is very excited about this group and hopefully a win against the BFNL is on the cards.

Camperdown – Zach Sinnott, Sidney Bradshaw, Hamish Sinnott
Cobden – Luke Smith, Ben Berry, Ben McGlade
Hamilton Kangaroos – Hamish Cook, Will Povey, Ethan Knight, Vincent Huf
Koroit – Paddy O’Sullivan, Tom Baulch, Mac Petersen, Jack Block, Clem Nagorka, Connor Byrne
North Warrnambool Eagles – Jackson Grundy, Jett Bermingham
Port Fairy – Ollie Myers, Oscar Pollock
Portland – Toby Jennings, Will Hunter
South Warrnambool – Isaac Thomas, Riley Thomas, Will White, Max Irving, Archie Stevens, Jay Rantall, Bailey
Osborne, Myles McCluggage
Terang Mortlake – Ryley Hutchins, Darcy Hobbs, Kane Johnstone, Xavier Vickers
Warrnambool – Harry Ruan, Fletcher Timms, Amon Radley, Reggie Mast

Vic Country Selection

Outstanding to see four more names from the Hampden Football Netball League included in the Vic Country team for the AFL National Championships.

Koroit’s Finn O’Sullivan and Mitch Lloyd along with Cobden pair Flynn Penry and Rhys Unwin will mix it with the best junior talent in Australia. All four players are extremely exciting to watch and have enormous potential, hopefully enough to make it onto an AFL List. All the best to all four boys in the Vic Country jumper.

Round 9

Warrnambool vs Hamilton (Reid Oval)

Cobden vs Terang Mortlake (Cobden Rec Reserve)

Portland vs South Warrnambool (Hanlon Park)

Port Fairy vs Koroit (Gardens Oval)

North Warrnambool vs Camperdown (Victoria Park)

See you at the Footy.


Around the Grounds with Hilly: Round 8


Over the next few months, affiliate clubs of the Hampden Football Netball League will be participating in a number of events to raise money and awareness for a lot of great causes. I’ve always been of the opinion that sporting clubs are great tools to fundraise, promote events and awareness campaigns because of their reach and standing in the community. Coming up next week will the ‘Push Up Challenge’, an event promoting Lifeline South West Victoria and their work to assist people with mental health problems, which then leads to suicide. All of the HFNL clubs are going to take part and aim to conduct 3,429 push ups from June 5th to 28th. MND is also a big event for a lot of Hampden League clubs, the Hamilton Kangaroos have just staged an event, raising money for the disease that former AFL player Neale Daniher is battling. The Portland Tigers are staging their own slide event during Round 9, which shall be fantastic.  Later in the season, South Warrnambool and Camperdown are joining forces for a Mental Health Awareness Match. They have a big day planned with guests talking about this subject and both sides will wear special jumpers. Our clubs are great in the HFNL to raise community awareness. 

Sunday Football

It was a terrific sight over at the Gardens Oval last Sunday, for the clash between Hamilton and Port Fairy. It was a Kangaroos home game, and what a great gesture by the Port Fairy Seagulls Football Netball Club to allow this to happen. The crowd was outstanding, and it brings the question, should we see a few more Sunday fixtures in the competition? We were extremely lucky because of the weather, which plays a big part in the success. It was great to see both clubs benefit from a stand-alone match. I thought it was a great advertisement for the Hampden Football Netball League.

Hutt Hits 100

One of the Cobden Football Netball Club’s favourite sons hits the 100th senior game milestone this weekend at the Cobden Recreation Reserve. Co-captain Jack Hutt will reach the major milestone and what a journey it has been to get there. I’ve always admired Jack’s football ability. He is a flexible player who can play key forward, key back or have an influence in the middle. He has a great football IQ and leads from the front. The journey hasn’t been a smooth sailing one for Jack, sustaining his fair share of injuries, but to his determination and application, it hasn’t stopped him playing the game he loves. Jack loves the Cobden Bombers, his family have been a major contributor to the club and I think this milestone will be one that Jack looks back on with great fondness.

All the best Hutty.

Round 8 Matches

Warrnambool vs Terang Mortlake (Reid Oval)

Camperdown vs Portland (Leura Oval)

South Warrnambool vs Port Fairy (Friendlies Society Park)

Cobden vs North Warrnambool (Cobden Rec Reserve)

Koroit vs Hamilton (Victoria Park)

See you at the Footy.


Around the Grounds with Hilly: Round 7


It’s National Volunteer Week in Australia, and how lucky are we in the Hampden Football Netball League to have so many great people contributing their time and efforts. It takes a village to run a club, and everyone’s role is equal to ensure the outcomes are positive. On behalf of the Hampden Football Netball League, a big thank-you to those who volunteer for the league but also to the many hundreds who give everything to their club each and every week, whether it be on game day or during the week. Could I ask all players over the weekend to go up to a volunteer and just say ‘Thank You’.

Browny’s Back

Jonathan Brown will acquaint himself with the Hampden Football Netball League again this season, signing on as coach of the U23 Interleague Team. Browny, who will coach the league for the 5th time, will be joined by Adam Dowie, Nathan Vardy, Brody Mahoney and Brad Thomas on the coaching staff for the game against Ballarat FNL on July 6th at the Reid Oval. The Brisbane Lion premiership player bleeds Bottle Green and is determined to go one step better this year against the Ballarat team. In other interleague coaching announcements, Justin Impey and Ben Parkinson will co-coach the U17 squad after terrific service as coaches of the South West Junior Carnival teams. While HFNL life member Chris Meade will coach the U19 female team for the HFNL, an exciting new game being added to the program. Chris will be joined by Hamilton’s Pat Sherlock and South Warrnambool’s Ryan Jones.

What a great coaching group leading our squads.

Rebels on Display

The GWV Rebels will be on display at the Reid Oval this weekend. The squad is likely to have a strong Hampden League contingent and I urge all local supporters to get up and support our local talent against the Geelong Falcons. The U18 GWV Rebels female team will also feature, with a plethora of outstanding HFNL players showcasing their talents. Good Luck to all on Saturday afternoon and night. 

Round 7

North Warrnambool vs Warrnambool (Bushfield)

Terang Mortlake vs Koroit (Ridley Reserve)

Camperdown vs South Warrnambool (Leura Oval)

Portland vs Cobden (Hanlon Park)

Hamilton vs Port Fairy (Gardens Oval – Sunday Football)

See you at the Footy.


Around the Grounds with Hilly: Round 6


The spotlight was on the Hampden Football Netball League last weekend, with AFL Victoria selecting our competition to host the Worksafe Game of the Month. A huge crowd were at the Leura Oval for the clash between traditional rivals Camperdown and Cobden. The Magpies were determined to get their first win of the season after a tough start with multiple injuries to key players. Camperdown played a great four quarter game, it was off the back of tough defensive and pressuring work, allowing space to be created in transition and Cobden to turn-over the football. Hamish Sinnott was at his very best, earning best on ground honors.


The process has begun to stage interleague football in the Hampden region later this season. The HFNL will take on the Ballarat Football Netball League for the second successive year, at the Reid Oval on July 6th. The U23 clash will be the feature fixture of the day, playing for the Clinton Baulch Cup in a twilight fixture. There will be an U17 clash as per 2023 and this season an U19 women’s game will also be held. More information on coaching appointments will be made next week, but there is an exciting group of coaches that will be leading each of the teams. It will be a great day of next level football in the first week of July.

Playing Coaches Starring

The coaching caper is almost like a full-time job. All coaches are looking at team vision, opposition vision, statistics, method each and every week. The Hampden League has a few playing coaches running around, only Lachie Hupputz, Brody Mahoney and Lewy Taylor are playing coaches. Whilst Lewy is still recovering from surgery, Brody and Lachie are setting an outstanding standard on the field, producing terrific statistical numbers. Brody’s first five weeks has been first class and his work alongside Patty Smith has made it tough to get on top of Cobden’s midfield. Lachie injured himself in the opening round, before returning on Anzac Day and accumulating 30+ disposals in the marquee match. Coaching is a hard gig on many fronts, but to back it up on the field. I take my hat off to Brody and Lachie this season. 

Round 6

Warrnambool vs Portland (Reid Oval)

Hamilton Kangaroos vs Terang Mortlake (Hawkesdale)

Cobden vs South Warrnambool (Cobden Recreation Reserve)

Port Fairy vs Camperdown (Gardens Oval)

Koroit vs North Warrnambool (Victoria Park)

See you at the Footy.


Around the Grounds with Hilly: Round 5


It appears all ten Hampden League clubs are ready to go for the next block of matches in the 2024 season, after the league’s first bye round. Clubs will have two more opportunities throughout the season to reset, those dates being on June 15th and July 6th. Hopefully the week off has allowed clubs to refresh their injured stars and we teams bolster their line-ups this weekend with key players.

Worksafe Game of the Month

Tomorrow, the Camperdown Football Netball Club will stage the Worksafe Game of the Month, taking on their traditional rival in Cobden. This match from AFL Victoria presents a terrific opportunity to showcase both clubs, who are excellently governed on and off the field as well as the Hampden Football Netball League in general. Western Bulldog premiership hero Tom Boyd will be a special guest at the match, alongside some Melbourne Vixen netballers. The encounter itself will not disappoint, with only pride on the line, but it’s a crucial clash for both clubs in regards to the ladder positions. The Game of the Month will be broadcasted on 3YB FM (radio and facebook) as well as AFL Victoria’s social platforms. If you are looking to watch a great game of HFNL Football and Netball, come to the Leura Oval and support both the Magpies and Bombers.

Rowbottom 100th Senior Game

One of the Camperdown Football Netball Club’s favourite sons will hit a major milestone tomorrow, with influential ruckman Will Rowbottom playing in senior game 100. Will’s journey with the Magpies commenced in 2015 under coach Phil Carse. The 2018 season was where Will really established his position in the Camperdown team and was a huge behind the Magpies success that season, with the club making the HFNL Grand Final.

Will is a real work-horse, and makes it a tough day for opposition ruckman, as he has a real thirst and hunger at the contest. Congratulations Will, on your milestone, your name is etched into the number 36 locker at the Leura Oval as recognition of your great service at the club.

Junior Carnival

The Hampden Football Netball League sent four teams to compete in the South West Junior Football Carnival last weekend. It was a highly successful day for our teams with three of them making Grand Finals. The U17 Grand Final featured our West and East teams, with Hampden East winning the title in a very tight game, the squad was guided by Ben Parkinson. The Hampden West team littered with future stars went through the round robin without defeat before falling short in the decider. Thank you to both Ben and Justin Impey for their dedication and guidance with our teams. Andrew Foster’s U14 West Team featured in the Grand Final before being outplayed by a dominant Wimmera side. The U14 West squad were outstanding throughout the day as were our East team, coached by Aaron Ross. It was great to showcase our league, and from many comments I heard throughout the day, many are envious of our talent, coaching and exposure we dedicate to junior development. 

A great day all round. 

Round 5 Matches

Camperdown vs Cobden (Leura Oval)

Hamilton Kangaroos vs North Warrnambool (Hawkesdale)

South Warrnambool vs Warrnambool (Friendlies Society Park)

Terang Mortlake vs Port Fairy (Mortlake)

Koroit vs Portland (Victoria Park)

See you at the Footy.


Around the Grounds with Hilly: Round 4


ANZAC Day Football was a huge success at Hanlon Park with a big crowd watching traditional rivals Portland and Hamilton Kangaroos. The Kangaroos were far superior in the first half, leading by 73 points and 7 goal haul from Kangaroos forward Darcy Russell. Hamilton plays a high octane brand of football under new coach Brad Thomas, and it will scare many sides this season, especially their impressive running capabilities. Portland looked more sound in the second half, outscoring Hamilton and displaying better ball movement, especially Tom Sharp, who was super impressive with 32 disposals and 4 goals.

Grundy Milestone

North Warrnambool will have multiple celebrations at Bushfield Oval this weekend, with Jackson Grundy lining up in his 100th senior game and the 30 year celebration of the 1994 Northern Districts premiership win. What a young player Jackson is becoming. His last two seasons have been phenomenal, which has included representation in the U23 HFNL Interleague Team and selection in the HFNL Team of the Year. Jackson, a hard working midfielder who can go forward and hit the scoreboard, is an emerging leader, having been on the Eagles leadership team for the past few seasons. He is a terrific player and will be a great long-term player in the HFNL.

Motlop Dominates

We are very fortunate in the Hampden League this season so many high profile players have come into the competition. Last weekend we saw the brilliance of former Geelong and Port Adelaide midfielder Steven Motlop. The former Cat had 50 disposals in a best on ground performance, he also took 15 marks and kicked two goals. The quality coming from the AFL and State Leagues is second to none and their output so far has been impressive.

League Stats Leaders

1. Steve Motlop: 50 disposals – 41 kicks, 9 handballs, 15 marks

2. Patty Smith: 45 disposals – 23 kicks, 22 handballs, 12 clearances

3. Toby Jennings: 35 disposals – 23 kicks, 12 handballs, 11 clearances

4. Jarryd Lewis: 35 disposals – 24 kicks, 11 handballs, 11 marks

5. Brody Mahoney: 33 disposals – 18 kicks, 15 handballs, 8 tackles.

Round 4 Matches

Warrnambool vs Camperdown (Reid Oval)

North Warrnambool vs Terang Mortlake (Bushfield Oval)

Port Fairy vs Cobden (Gardens Oval)

See you at the Footy.


Around the Grounds with Hilly: Round 3


It was the Aaron Black show at the Gardens Oval last weekend, with the former North Melbourne Kangaroo and Geelong Cat forward kicking 7 majors in the Blues first win of the season. Quick ball movement from the centre allowed Black to create separation from his opponent, allowing him to take 6 uncontested marks for the match. A fluent kick of the football, if Warrnambool can get quick advantage from the centre, Aaron Black could be in for a very solid season in front of the goals when he’s available. 

Felix Jones 100 Games

A popular figure at the North Warrnambool Eagles will line up in game 100 this weekend, with tough forward/midfielder Felix ‘Carnage’ Jones reaching the milestone. The former Portland Tiger has been a regular fixture of the Eagles forward over the past few seasons. His toughness at the contest and fitness work is elite, and he is a real barometer for his team. The #8 has started the season strongly and we wish him all the very best in his milestone game against the Port Fairy Seagulls. 

Interleague Coaches

The Hampden Football Netball League have appointed four experienced coaches to lead their South West District Junior Football Carnival teams in May.

Respected junior coaches Justin Impey and Ben Parkinson will look after the U17 fortunes North Warrnambool’s Aaron Ross and  Koroit premiership coach Andrew Foster will coach the U14 teams. The league has named East and West squads, with Terang Mortlake, Camperdown, Cobden, Warrnambool making up the East squads, while Koroit, Port Fairy, Hamilton, Portland and South Warrnambool will form the West squads. The competition will be played at Portland’s Alexander Park and Heathmere Recreation Reserve.

Stats Gun

This week my ‘Number Gun’ is South Warrnambool forward Shannon Beks. Despite the Rooster captain kicking 4 goals in the teams win over Terang Mortlake, he was able to gather 22 disposals, take 11 marks (eight of those contested) and 4 Inside 50’s. Shannon has started the season extremely well and his numbers for a big forward are remarkable. 

Round 3 Matches

Cobden vs Warrnambool 

Hamilton vs South Warrnambool

Portland vs Terang Mortlake

North Warrnambool vs Port Fairy

Camperdown vs Koroit

Another great weekend of Hampden League Football coming up.

See you at the Footy

Around the Grounds with Hilly: Round 2


Opening Round

It was great to have the siren sounding, the car horns beeping and leather being kicked around last weekend in the opening round of the Hampden Football Netball League.There were some many great moments from the season openers, with some close matches and outstanding individual performances.

Friday Night Football was a huge success at the Reid Oval, with a big crowd watching the Blues and Saints play in an absolute thriller. The game was in the balance for most of the last quarter and the young Koroit side was able to record a very mature victory. South Warrnambool flexed their muscles with a commanding win against North Warrnambool, with Shannon Beks dominating the air and in front of the goals. Former Fremantle star Michael Barlow made a welcome return to the HFNL, gathering 42 disposals in an outstanding individual display. Jason Rowan in game 250 starred in his team’s win over Portland, booting six majors and taking a crowd pleasing hanger. Terang Mortlake are tipped to fare well this season, they recorded a great win over Camperdown in twilight football while Cobden were strong in their win over Hamilton at home.

Paddy Anderson Milestone

One of the most famous names at South Warrnambool will celebrate a major milestone this weekend, with Paddy Anderson playing game 150. The son of the great Shorty Anderson, has been a part of the Roosters fabric for a long time now and is renowned for his beautiful left foot kick and his efficient use. 

Paddy was a key ingredient to South Warrnambool’s back six last season and enjoyed the spoils of a premiership. One of the competition’s great fella’s. Well Done Paddy on your milestone.

League Stats

For the very first time in the Hampden League, each game was properly stated last week. Knight Vision Analysis are the league’s statistics partner for 2024 and what they have provided is first class. Each Wednesday edition in the Warrnambool Standard you will see each week’s player stats from the previous round, which will be great for our local football fans. 

Some of the major standouts were

Michael Barlow – North Warrnambool:   42 disposals (19 kicks, 23 handballs) and 1 goal

Max Lower – Terang Mortlake: 34 disposals (13 kicks, 21 handballs, 7 tackles and 6 clearances)

Ryley Hutchins – Terang Mortlake: 33 disposals (21 kicks, 12 handballs, 3 goals and 5 Inside 50’s)

Round 2 Matches

Koroit vs Cobden – The Bombers will unleash new key defender Alfie Armstrong for the clash. Koroit have impressed with their young brigade. A great encounter is coming up.

Port Fairy vs Warrnambool – Port Fairy will fancy their chances after a solid performance last round. Warrnambool will be better for the run and will be hopeful to give Cunnington, McCarthy, Wason and Black their first wins as Blues.

Hamilton vs Camperdown – Hamilton will play this game at Hawkesdale Recreation Reserve for the first time and welcome back triple Maskell Medallist Levi Dare. Camperdown has lost some quality, an even clash coming up.

North Warrnambool vs Portland – The Eagles are always tough to beat at home and this will be no different. Portland will unveil some new names, looking forward to seeing how they go.

Terang Mortlake vs South Warrnambool – A clash of the titans coming up. South Warrnambool have been classy in their first two matches of the season and Terang Mortlake were great last week. Great to see Louis Herbet playing his first game of the year at Roosterland. Keep an eye on Max Lower from the Bloods – he is a jet.

Another great weekend of Hampden League Footy upon us.

See you at the Footy


Around the Grounds with Hilly: Round 1


Normal Saturday routines are back this weekend with the opening round of the Hampden Football Netball League.

It has been one exciting off-season with so many great players coming into the competition and many of them will be featuring this opening round.

The season commenced last week with Good Friday Football between South Warrnambool and Koroit. It was a close game throughout the entire day, both sides blooding some youth in front of a huge crowd. The Roosters showed they will be hard to beat in 2024.

Friday night football returns tonight with Warrnambool taking Koroit, unveiling new recruits Ben Cunnington and Aaron Black. It is anticipated a big crowd will flock to the Reid Oval to see not only two great names but also a great game of football. Hopefully we see more innovations and fixtures like this into the future.

The competition between the Eastern based clubs will be great viewing this season, with each of Terang Mortlake, Camperdown and Cobden all recruiting strongly. It brings back memories when all three sides were dominant forces during the mid to late 90s. I’m anticipating great improvement from all those clubs again in 2024.

Tomorrow at Hanlon Park, Port Fairy forward Jason Rowan will play his 250th game in the HFNL. It has been an outstanding career which has featured many highs, including multiple premierships, leading goal-kicking awards, reaching the 1000 goal mark and more recently becoming the greatest goal-kicker in the HFNL, breaking Tony Russell’s long standing record. What a star of our league.

An exciting addition to the Hampden Football Netball League this season is the statistics provided by Knight Vision Analysis. The stats will be promoted on all of the Hampden League social media platforms and websites as well. Coaches, players and supporters will be able to see every kick, handball, contested possession throughout the course of the season.

Round 1 Matches

Warrnambool vs Koroit (Friday Night) – 7.15pm

Campedown vs Terang Mortlake (Super Saturday) – 5pm

South Warrnambool vs North Warrnambool – 2pm

Cobden vs Hamilton Kangaroos – 2pm

Portland vs Port Fairy – 2pm

I hope everyone enjoys the Hampden Football Netball League brand this weekend, with so many great opening round matches.

See you at the Footy


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