K rock Football

Saturday Spotlight – GFL Round 16

THE GAMES

St Mary’s (3rd) vs. St Joseph’s (2nd) @ Anthony Costa Oval, Saturday 2:10pm

Lara (12th)  vs. Leopold (1st) @ Bisinella Oval, Saturday 2:10pm

Colac (4th) vs. St Albans (10th) @ Central Reserve, Saturday 2:10pm

Bell Park (7th) vs. Newtown & Chilwell (5th) @ Hamlyn Park, Saturday 2:10pm

South Barwon (6th) vs. Geelong West (11th) @ McDonald Reserve, Saturday 2:10pm

North Shore (9th) vs. Grovedale (8th) @ Windsor Park, Saturday 2:10pm

MATCH OF THE ROUND

Newtown & Chilwell has been playing elimination finals for seven weeks and now sit inside the top five having met every challenge thrown at them since ending Round 8 with a 2-6 win-loss record. The Eagles face a Bell Park line-up that now finds itself in cut-throat territory. The winner stays alive, the loser can look to 2019.

CRUCIAL DAY FOR

Colac will look to maintain its one-game buffer on sixth-place when it hosts St Albans. With St Joseph’s and Leopold to come in the final fortnight, the Tigers would love a percentage booster against the struggling Supersaints.

THE MATCH-UP

Cam Tudor (St Joseph’s) vs. Trent McMullan (St Mary’s). Full-of-confidence after nine goals in last week’s hiding of North Shore, Tudor will need to be kept in check. McMullan has the height and athleticism to go with the experienced Joey.

THE CHANGE

What impact will final Geelong VFL selection have on the St Mary’s and St Joseph’s line-ups? At this stage, Saints trio Sam Dobson, Patrick Dowling and Aiden Grace and Joeys defender Cal Mitchell have been named at their home clubs. However, with the Cats’ AFL known for making late changes, that could force the VFL line-up to do the same. With Tom Gillies to miss through suspension, St Mary’s would love to have at least one of Dobson or Grace.

THE NUMBER

42. The number of players used by Bell Park in 2018 when Sam Bucovaz debuts against Newtown & Chilwell. With just three of those playing every match, it sheds some light on the Dragons’ inconsistency this year.

TIGERS COMMIT

Exciting midfielder Cassidy Parish, the versatile Tim Delaney and 2018 recruit Keelin Betson have become the latest Grovedale players to re-sign for 2019. It comes on the back of Cam Delaney, Lachie Wright, Luke Ford and Lachie Headlam putting pen to paper last month, and coach Simon Riddoch and captain Nathan Deans before that. Parish, who won last year’s Geelong Falcons best-and-fairest, has played two games with VFL club Werribee in 2018 and appeared in AFL Victoria’s Young Guns series.

VFL WATCH

GFL-aligned players named in VFL squads this weekend

Geelong: Tom Atkins (St Joseph’s), Sam Dobson (St Mary’s), Patrick Dowling (St Mary’s), Campbell Floyd (Colac), Aiden Grace (St Mary’s), Jordan Keras (St Joseph’s), Luke Kiel (Bell Park), Tom Lang (St Mary’s), Jackson McLachlan (St Joseph’s), Callum Mitchell (St Joseph’s), James Tsitas (Grovedale)

Richmond: Blake Grewar (St Albans)

Werribee: Joel Bennett (Geelong West), Jack Berry (Leopold), Keegan Gray (Bell Park), Tom Gribble (Newtown & Chilwell), Jack Henderson (St Mary’s), Dane McFarlane (Newtown & Chilwell), Ben McNamara (St Joseph’s), Joe Maishman (St Mary’s), Ben Moloney (St Joseph’s), Ethan Petterwood (Grovedale), Michael Sodomaco (St Joseph’s)

Williamstown: Jordan Jones (Newtown & Chilwell)

THE QUOTE

“It’d be great if I could push the button and tell them all to respond and jump up to the challenge, but at the end of the day it’s got to come from within themselves and whether they want to step up to the plate.” – Bell Park co-coach Luke Rayner ahead of the ‘mini’ elimination final against Newtown & Chilwell.

THE TEAMS

GFL – ROUND 16