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Around the Grounds with Hilly: Round 12


Holt to lead Tiger Train

The first of the coaching announcements for season 2023 was made last weekend with Portland re-appointing Jarrod Holt for another season. While we still have another several home and away fixtures before finals commence, the Tigers are going to be a part of the action for the very first time this season, and much of this has to be credited to Holty. He is one of the club’s favourite sons and is much respected by the playing group. Jarrod has certainly built a nice foundation at Portland and no doubt will be keen to see where the Tiger Train can go in the next couple of seasons.

AFLW coming to the Reid Oval

What a terrific announcement this week, with Essendon and Geelong to meet in a home and away season fixture in October. It is terrific that the new facilities at the Reid Oval can host such a match and hopefully a big crowd will attend a first for the region. Essendon will have a local flavour in the match, with senior coach Natalie Wood coming from Warrnambool is one of the great ambassadors of the code. The round seven match will take place in October and already there is a lot of excitement in the air.

Indigenous Round

It is absolutely sensational this weekend the Hampden Football Netball League is celebrating Indigenous Round, which coincides superbly with NAIDOC Week. The week celebrates the history, culture and achievements of Aborigibal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, and we haven’t had so many talented indigenous people involved in our league over the journey. A couple of indigenous players who I thoroughly enjoyed watching in my time following Hampden Football include:

Tim Chatfield – A tough forward who provided many headaches for opposition defenders. Tim had terrific hands and was a beautiful kick at goal. Dominated at VFL level in his mid 30’s.

Jason Misfuld – One of the great Hampden League players of the modern era. Unbelievable work ethic, could play multiple positions, outstanding leader and a matchwinner (the 2003 Hampden League premiership is great evidence).

Adrian Collard and Willie Rioli – Two names that were dominant players for the Mortlake Cats. Both players had a plethora of party tricks, played an unpredictable yet exciting brand and both were capable of great things at a higher level.

Cedric Cox and Jermaine Jones – Whilst these two young kids were only in the league for a short time, but both have gone onto AFL careers, majorly stemming from their interleague campaigns with the Bottle Greens. Both Cedric and JJ had dash, poise and excitement.

Round 12 Selections

North Warrnambool vs Warrnambool – Crucial game for both sides, the Eagles for their top aspirations and for the Blues, consolidating their spot inside the top five. Reviewing current form, North Warrnambool should win.

Cobden vs Camperdown – A great match coming up between the arch rivals. Recent form would suggest Cobden get the win but I’m expecting a hungry Camperdown to perform well. It’s a toss of the coin, but I think the Bombers just.

South Warrnambool vs Port Fairy – Outstanding to see a really competitive Port Fairy last weekend, but they’re up against one of the big boys and won’t win this one.

Terang Mortlake vs Koroit – A huge challenge for the Bloods. I love the emergence of Hutchins, Vickers, Roberts, Roberts and Hobbs. Unfortunately, they won’t be close to the Saints. They’re in rich form at the moment and are my Grand Final favourites at the moment.

Portland vs Hamilton – One of the great rivalries in the Hampden league and what a huge game for Hamilton. The Kangaroos are a game outside the top five and would love to take scalp, including their arch rivals. Portland is in great shape and will be hard to stop.

Have a great day at the football.


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!

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