Border Mail – Round 15 – Preview
Kade Stevens has been re-appointed for a third season as coach of Brocklesby-Burrumbuttock.
Stevens, who has the Saints sitting in second spot on the ladder, has committed for 2019 along with star midfielder Nico Sedgwick.
“We’re really happy with Stevo’s coaching,” Koschitzke said.
“He’s doing a great job.
“It’s good to get things sorted out before the finals.”
Stevens joined Brock-Burrum from Ovens and Murray club Lavington last year and took the Saints into the finals before suffering a surprise loss to Culcairn.
Howlong has signed coach Beau Packer for another 12 months as well as assistant-coach Steve Jolliffe and key players Matt McDonald and Peter Hancock.
The Spiders have emerged as a darkhorse to play finals after winning their last three matches against CDHBU, Billabong Crows and Lockhart.
Myles Aalbers (Rand-Walbundrie-Walla) and Matt Sharp (Holbrook) are the only other coaches in the 12-team competition to be confirmed for 2019.
The futures of Matt Rava (Osborne), Kerry Bahr (Jindera), Joel Price (Henty), Mick Collins and Jeremy Stevenson (CDHBU), Al Austin (Billabong Crows), Josh Hillary (Culcairn), Jake Phillips and Jordan Harrington (Lockhart) and Phil Packer and Brad Thompson (Murray Magpies) will become clearer in coming weeks.
Meanwhile, NSW/ACT AFL is close to announcing a decision on the league’s salary cap for next season.
Clubs are desperate to find out how much money they can spend on players before recruiting gets into full swing.
JINDERA’S Tom Weldon will become only the third Bulldog to play 250 matches on Saturday.
Weldon said it was a huge thrill to reach 250.
”Absolutely,” Weldon said.
“I grew up in Jindera and to still be at the club that my family has been involved with over the years is a big deal to me.
“It’s a great club with lots of great people.
“I’m just the lucky one who gets to run out each Saturday chasing a kick.”
While Weldon was reluctant to nominate his toughest opponent, he is confident the Bulldogs can give the flag a shake this season.
“We played well on the weekend against Henty who are this year’s benchmark,” he said.
“We took a lot out of that.”
Marty Bahr has won three best and fairests at Osborne and looks a good chance of taking out a fourth.
Duncan McMaster, Connor Galvin, Matt Rava and Sam Rutland are in the mix.
Jamie Parr, who won the club’s best and fairest, Azzi medal and Des Kennedy Medal last season, has only played 11 matches and is likely to be just off the pace.
Despite having several ruck options, coach Kerry Bahr has handed Mitch Lawrence the No.1 duties and he hasn’t disappointed.
Michael D’Arcy has been strong at centre half-back while Matt Osborne rarely lets the Bulldogs down.
Trent Castles has kicked 72 goals and will also be around the mark.
In a good sign for the Saints, a handful of players look realistic chances.
Ron Boulton, Matt Seiter, Nico Sedgwick, Aidan Johnson and Darcy I’Anson have been flying at different stages of the season.
Seiter and Sedgwick can’t win the Azzi due to suspensions.
Jye Shields is enjoying another fine season for the Lions.
He’s been a stand-out in a number of games with the classy midfielder’s long-kicking sure to catch the eye.
His former Kiewa-Sandy Creek teammates – Dane and Tim Hallinan – could round out the top three.
Both knock up winning possessions and have been instrumental in the Brookers’ sharp surge up the ladder.
Curtis Steele, Andrew Mackinlay and last year’s winner Brad Carman should also poll well.
Star Western Australian recruit Daniel Cox missed three matches with a hamstring injury, but will take running down.
He’s fast and tough and must surely be on the radar of Ovens and Murray clubs.
Cox’s brother Dale, Chris Willis and Jarrah Maksymow have also been outstanding for the ladder leader.
Damian Cupido can’t be discounted either with 72 goals.
Chris Duck has been a ball magnet in his first season with the Giants.
Duck has been a stand-out at the clearances with his quick hands and would have been even more formidable had reigning best and fairest Ryan Lavery been in the side.
Justin Gordon rarely plays poorly and Brendan Simmons has been rock solid in defence.
Not only is Steve Jolliffe an odds-on favourite for the Spiders’ best and fairest, the former Wodonga Raider will take beating for the Azzi medal.
Jolliffe has been prolific in the centre.
Howlong has named Jolliffe in its best players on 10 occasions and one Lockhart official was flabbergasted he wasn’t listed against the Demons on the weekend.
Blake Williams has been a surprise packet with a break-out season while ruckman Peter Hancock always polls well.
Big Zac Sheather won best and fairests in 2014 and 2015 and could well add 2018 to the list.
Is rarely beaten at the centre bounces and does a power of work around the ground for the Demons.
Matt Endresz and Jamie Clough have also been good.
While ageless midfielder Shannon Broadbent would probably have led at the halfway stage of the season, a fractured ankle looks set to cost him dearly.
Kade Rowe shapes as the No.1 contender with his form over the past month being outstanding.
Tim Cooper could be a smoky.
Youngster George Sandral appears a good thing.
He led the WAW-The Border Mail Footballer of the Year award at the halfway stage of the season with Tim Austin shaping as his main competition.
If the Magpies best players are anything to go by, Daniel Maher’s name should be engraved on the trophy.
He has featured in the best on 11 occasions.
Michael Sims has also been a fine contributor at Urana Road Oval.
Saturday, August 4
Brock-Burrum v Murray Magpies
Holbrook v Howlong
Jindera v Culcairn
Lockhart v CDHBU
Billabong Crows v Henty
Osborne v Rand-Walb-Walla
(The Lion King)
(The Kohn Man)
(The Lockhart Sledgehammer)
(The Border Mail)
Holbrook’s Josh Jones certainly gets value for money in the Brookers’ annual cash draw.
The midfielder won $1000 as runner-up for the second year in a row last weekend.
It is believed he was going to donate half the $5000 winner’s prizemoney to the club’s footy trip away.
You have got to give Osborne credit.
The Cats had the lowest player points in the Hume league against Culcairn last weekend at just 28.
Recruits Declan O’Rourke and Kode O’Malley were three-pointers and Matt Rava, Duncan McMaster and Pat Delaney two-pointers.
Billabong Crows and Howlong were the second lowest on 30.
Terry O’Halloran’s speech at last weekend’s Hall of Fame certainly won’t be forgotten in a hurry.
The former Howlong champion covered everything from his on-field clashes with Mitta United legend Hughie Giltrap to hiding behind the scoreboard while his teammates were doing pre-season laps at Wodonga Demons.
O’Halloran also spoke about the disappointment of how a broken leg effectively ended his career.