K rock Football

Rivalry Renewed

BFL captain Josh Finch and GDFL vice-captain Sam Jacka. (krockfootball.com.au Image/Al Packer)

BELLARINE captain Josh Finch has played down suggestions all the pressure is on the Sharks heading into Saturday’s AFL Victoria Community Championships clash with Geelong and District at KFC Oval on Saturday.

In what will be the first meeting between the two leagues in 30 years, the BFL was notionally ranked No.14 after last year’s win over Wimmera, while the GDFL sat 18th following its victory against Heathcote and District.

“Externally, potentially, people think we should win,” Finch said.

“It’s a short, quick program like the GDFL as well; we’ve just got to come in, buy-in, (and) bring our best footy.

“If we bring our best footy, we win the game, I feel.”

BFL: AFL VICTORIA COMMUNITY CHAMPIONSHIPS TEAM

Finch, who first represented the BFL in 2010, says this year’s Sharks line-up is close to the most talented he has been a part of.

“Each year’s different, (but) it looks that way on paper,” he said.

“Based on face value; big names, GFL experience, AFL experience, VFL experience, it’s a great list to be playing alongside, that’s for certain.”

GDFL vice-captain Sam Jacka says with the Bellarine favourites, the Raiders’ mantra has been: “nothing to lose”.

“We’re pretty confident within ourselves, but we know we’re going to be the underdogs come Saturday,” he said.

“It’s no high-risk, high-reward outcome, but definitely nothing to lose, just enjoy the day, take it as it comes, and who knows what unfolds in the two hours.”

GDFL: AFL VICTORIA COMMUNITY CHAMPIONSHIPS TEAM

Jacka says the group, under Thomson premiership coach Reece Holwell, jelled quickly.

“It’s been a massive benefit for us,” he said.

“There’s a lot of competitive guys at that interleague level, but once you bring those 25-26 blokes together if you get that chemistry right nice and early, it really pushes the group.

“I feel like we’ve got that this year.”

Jacka will be part of a tight-knit GDFL defence that will have to contend with the likes of Jordan Erskine, Jarrod Garth and Mitch Day.

Erskine and Garth are both previous winners of the GFL goal kicking award, while Day is a Les Ash medallist and BFL leading goal kicker.

Jacka says the Raiders’ midfield will need to work hard to limit the Bellarine’s forward 50 entries.

“As a backline, you rely on those midfielders to put that pressure on,” he said.

“Hopefully it doesn’t come in as clean as what they hope it does.

“We’re looking to play that really highly-contested footy and apply that pressure up the ground.

“If that clicks, then it certainly plays into our hands as a backline.”

Twitter: @tom_king79