Hume Football League season opener
From the Eastern Chronicle.
THE 2018 Hume Football League starts Saturday with a mouthwatering schedule of matches on offer.
Premiership favourites Brock Burrum Saints host last year’s runners up and highly favoured Jindera Bulldogs at Brocklesby Sportsground.
Both sides have recruited well and are expected to go very deep into the finals series.
The Saints have added one of the highest profile players in the league’s recent history, with former Wodonga ruckman Matt Seiter signing on. Seiter was the Ovens and Murray FL Morris Medal winner in 2016 and is a powerhouse player with his size and bulk.
They have also regained former premiership stars Nick Brockley and John Roy Williams, along with Lavington ruckman Jeremy Luff.
Jindera themselves have added some genuine class with Trent Castles back at the club after dominating in the Tallangatta FL in recent years.
Albury premiership ruckman Ben Dower also returns to the kennel. Handy additions also include Matt Crawshaw and Layne Heinjus.
OLD rivals Holbrook and Culcairn clash at Holbrook in what should be a cracking contest with both sides excited about their prospects.
Culcairn who finished third last year has added Josh Hillary as coach, along with Albury Tigers trio Caleb Simmons, Ben Gould and Brad Sheridan. They have lost some goalkicking talent in Peter Cook (Barnawartha), Trent Perzyk and the speedy Nick Wright.
The Brookers have gained Matthew Sharpe as playing coach along with fellow Panthers Sam Harris and Isaac Lampe the son of former Holbrook ruckman Neville Lampe.
Brock Knights (Wodonga Raiders), Jayden Beaumont (North Albury) and Jacob Way (Berrigan) have also added huge depth to the talented squad from 2017.
IN ANOTHER exciting rivalry clash Osborne, the defending premiers will unfurl its 2017 premiership flag against neighbors Henty at Osborne.
Osborne has been relatively quiet on the recruiting scene and will rely heavily on its existing talent from last year and several emerging youngsters out of the thirds.
Henty will be coached by former Howlong coach Joel Price who has been able to recruit some high-profile talent.
Former AFL star Damian Cupido headlines a list that includes a host of former Howlong players including Tim Brook and Will Farrer.
The Swampies have however lost plenty of last year’s talent including Nick Murray, Andrew Yates, Brent Ohlin, Dusty Rogers and Derek Singe.
IN ANOTHER great clash Lockhart will be at home to Rand Walbundrie Walla Giants who will be looking to improve on its fourth-place last year.
The Giants have been very active in adding to its list with Lavington on baller Sam Hargreave, Tim Madden (Thurgoona) and the Duck brothers, Chris and Jeremy.
They have kept losses to a minimum and with plenty of potent fire power up forward they should be one of the top chances.
Lockhart co-coaches Jordan Harrington and Jake Phillips will be keen to keep the momentum from late last year going with key defender Andrew Emery returning.
The Demons also have plenty of emerging talent from its thirds team from 2017 that played in the grand final.
BILLABONG Crows and Murray Magpies will clash at Oaklands with the Crows a great chance to start 2017 with a win.
The Magpies have lost a lot of top end talent with leading goal kicker Will McGrath the biggest loss. Dale Lappin and Brennan Deppeler are other huge losses.
Crows coach Al Austin will be hoping for a more injury free season for himself. Jimmy O’Connell will also be a key player in the midfield.
CDHBU were looking in dire trouble pre-New year with merger talks hanging over the club and heavy player losses.
However, the return of several former stars in Kade Rowe and Kane Mills has reinvigorated the Power’s hopes.
Howlong has signed former Wodonga Raiders defender Beau Packer as coach and picked up his former Raiders teammate Steve Jolliffe.
Former junior Jay Koehler has also returned and along with Brett Lefoe the defence should be very strong.
They have suffered big losses in Tim Brook, Joe Pargeter, Tyson Logie, Will Farrer and Joel Price. An easier draw should see them in finals contention.
ROUND ONE DRAW
- Brock Burrum v Jindera (Brocklesby)
- Holbrook v Culcairn
- Osborne v Henty
- Lockhart v Rand Walb Walla
- Billabong Crows v Murray Magpies
- CDHBU v Howlong