Border Mail – Grand Final – Preview
His record in grand finals isn’t flash, but Jindera’s Michael D’Arcy is more determined than ever heading into his third straight Hume League grand final at Walbundrie on Saturday.
The centre-half-forward has played in five senior grand finals across his career and lost them all – including the last two seasons with the Bulldogs against Brock-Burrum and Osborne.
He believes coming from fifth and playing sudden death football throughout the finals series has been an advantage for Jindera.
“We’ve been able to build that momentum going in as opposed to the stop-start nature that the top-six can throw at you sometimes,” he said.
“The momentum we’ve gained over the last few weeks and the confidence out of those close wins, especially being behind early, has helped.
“It’s our third grand final in a row, so we’ve focused on separating it from the last few years and treating it like an opportunity to win a grand final.”
D’Arcy is in his fourth year at Jindera since moving from Caloundra in Queensland.
“I played a year with Michael Blomeley (at Caloundra) and he moved back down and I was looking for a bit of a change, which presented itself,” D’Arcy said.
“I think a lot of people are surprised about the standard up there because generally the teams are more spread out.
“There’s not as many teams in such a small area, so you’re playing against Brisbane and Gold Coast teams as well.
“I always find it hard to compare (to the Hume League).
“Generally since I’ve been there (at Jindera) I’ve played centre-half-forward, but we haven’t really had that power forward like we did this year with Trent (Castles) in my time at the club.
“It’s probably freed me up a little bit because generally I was the only tall in the forward line and would get the best defender.
“Personally, it’s been my best year since I’ve been here and I’ve probably got Trent to thank for that.”
D’Arcy’s brother, Tim, currently has the bragging rights in the family after playing in Kiewa-Sandy Creek’s premiership against Thurgoona in the Tallangatta league last weekend.
Tim departed Jindera the day before the clearance deadline and played just his fourth senior game for the Hawks in the grand final.
Umpires Daniel Lewis, Adam Larkins and Ged Palmer will officiate in their first Hume League senior grand final on Saturday.
Palmer was a boundary umpire for the 2012, 2013 and 2014 Tallangatta league grand finals and Daniel Lewis was a boundary umpire for the 2015 Tallangatta and 2016 Ovens and Murray grand finals.
Rand-Walbundrie-Walla coach Myles Aalbers looks over the Hume league decider
IF you told me eight weeks ago Jindera would be playing in the grand final, I would have said no chance.
They seem to be running in numbers and covering the ground well.
Some of their lesser lights have stood up and Trent Castles is firing.
Brock-Burrum deserve to start favourites after a solid season and beating Henty comfortably in their last final.
The Saints are even around the ground and their midfield and forward lines are strengths but I think Jindera can get a hold of their back six especially if they get the ball in quickly to Castles and Dylan Pettingill before Matt Seiter charges back into their space like he did to Henty’s Damian Cupido.
Sam Myors (Jindera) v John-Roy Williams (BB)
Myors is having a super finals series and has probably been their best player and I hope Brock-Burrum throw Williams onto him so Myors doesn’t get it all his own way.
Tom Weldon (Jindera) v Josh McCudden (BB)
Weldon usually goes to the opposition’s best and most damaging player and McCudden is their most damaging player.
He gets it on the outside, has good skills and most importantly kicks goals. Weldon is quality veteran who battles hard every week.
Brock-Burrum have a more even settled side and should win but Jindera is riding this wave of momentum.
Verdict: BB by 30 points
Grand finals at Walbundrie on Saturday
Reserves: Jindera v Rand-Walbundrie-Walla at 12pm
Thirds: Holbrook v Osborne at 10am
Fourths: Holbrook v Rand-Walbundrie-Walla at 8.45pm
A grade: Billabong Crows v Lockhart at 2.30pm
B grade: Howlong v RWW at 12.30pm
C grade: Brock-Burrum v RWW at 2.30pm
C reserve: Billabong Crows v Lockhart at 12.30pm
Under 16: RWW v Holbrook at 11am
Under 14: Murray Magpies v Osborne at 9.45am
Under 12: Holbrook v Murray Magpies at 11am
(The Lion King)
(The Kohn Man)
(The Border Mail)
Matt Crawshaw has been helping out with the running duties during the finals series.
After being concussed on several occasions during the home and away series, the star St Patrick’s cricketer was still keen to stay involved.
Could he make an appearance in the reserve grade grand final against Rand-Walbundrie-Walla on Saturday?
A massive contingent of Lockhart and Hume league supporters attended Charlie Pertzel’s funeral at Lockhart on Tuesday.
Charlie played 371 games, won a reserves best and fairest in 1990 and coached the side, and spent more than 25 years on the club committee.
It was a fitting send-off.
Lockhart will field one of the youngest A-grade sides in recent grand final history against Billabong Crows on Saturday.
Ruby Bouffler, 14, Holly Murphy, 16, Paige Brown, 17, Isabella Smyth, 20, and Teagan Hannon, 21, are members of a nine-member squad.
“They have all come on really well during the season,” coach Jose Webb said.
“It took us a while to team together but our second-half of the year has been really good.”