Grand Final Preview 2 – 2017

From Border Mail

OSBORNE defender Andrew Clarke isn’t just trotting out the party line when he says the Cats are a 50-50 chance against Jindera on Saturday.

“Hopefully it’s our year again,” Clarke said.

“Jindera’s a tough side though and I’d say it will come down to the last kick or two.

“Unless someone gets on top early it should be close.”

With only two years separating the siblings, the Clarkes played the bulk of their careers together before Andrew joined Ganmain-Grong Grong-Matong in 2012.

He spent four years in the Riverina league before taking over as co-coach of The Rock-Yerong Creek last season.

“We’ve only really had a few years apart with our footy,” he said.

“Playing with your brother in a grand final doesn’t come around every week or month so you remember it for sure.”

In a glowing endorsement of Osborne’s junior policy, five sets of brothers have played senior football this season.

The Clarkes have been joined by the Galvins, Alexanders, McDonnells and Bahrs at different stages during the home and away series.

Will Lane has also played senior football with his brother, Simon, being on the brink of selection in the reserves.

“It’s probably always been a bit like that at Osborne,” he said.

“We’ve always had a lot of locals.”

While the siblings will be out in force on Saturday, Osborne won’t match its feats of 1999 when six sets of brothers played in the upset one-point grand final win over Lockhart.

“We had 12 brothers in that side with the Schneiders, Gleesons, Hosies,  Goodens, O’Connells and Clarkes that year,” club president Jason Gooden said.

“I don’t think that record has been beaten.

“In one game this year we had four sets of brothers but we couldn’t quite get the five due to injuries and things like that.”

OSBORNE backman Andrew Clarke has a pretty good understanding why Kerry Bahr’s Jindera line-up is fit.

Clarke played alongside the former Ovens and Murray veteran in Osborne’s 2009 premiership and remembers being taken aback by his work ethic.

“It was a fair while ago but he was big on fitness and getting the best out of himself,” Clarke said.

“He worked hard at everything he did.

“He coaches how we plays by the look of it.

“Jindera and Osborne are both nice and fit.”

After a stellar 356-match Ovens and Murray career with Lavington and Wodonga Raiders, Bahr was convinced to play out his days with long-time Lavington teammate Graham Hart at Osborne.

His last match of football was the Cats’ 38-point grand final win over Jindera.

Bahr has fond memories of the season.

“I went out there for a year with ‘Harty’ when he was coaching and we were lucky enough to get a flag,” Bahr said.

“It was good.”

Jindera has made one change to its line-up with star midfielder Sam Myors returning from a knee injury.

Myors trained strongly on Thursday night and came into the side at the expense of club stalwart Mick Blomeley.

Blomely returned from a medial ligament injury against Culcairn in the preliminary final but looked hampered and the Bulldogs were forced to make a tough call at selection.

He has been named as an emergency.

Bahr said Jindera would need to bring its best form to the table to defeat Osborne.

“They are a good side but we’re looking forward to it,” he said.

“We were a bit sore after the weekend but we recovered on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday and are in good shape.”

Osborne has also made one change with experienced defender Trent Haddrill coming into the side for Andrew Madden.

Despite less than 10 points separating Osborne and Jindera in their previous two meetings, nine of the 10 rival coaches believes the Cats with emerge victorious.

Osborne will join Walla as the most successful club in Hume league history if it clinches the premiership.

The Cats have 13 flags – one less than the Hoppers – despite only joining the competition with Boree Creek in 1970.

Saturday’s draw is:

Seniors: 2.15pm: Osborne v Jindera

Reserves, 12pm, Henty v Jindera

Thirds: 10am: Brock-Burrum v Lockhart

Fourths: 8.45am: Osborne v Holbrook