STRATHMORE v GREENVALE – Radio Game
STRATHMORE Community Bank Premier Division has a habit of giving us blockbuster games on a near weekly basis and this is the pick of them this weekend.
Some were ready to write the Mores off after losing several experienced players over the summer but they were quick to silence the critics against a more fancied Keilor outfit two weeks ago.
The top end of their list still boasts high quality players with plenty to give and it’ll be the likes of Jaryd Cachia, Alex Grima, Adam Iacobucci, Luke Jarrad and Hamish McIntosh that will continue to lead the way alongside a swathe of kids coming through.
Their depth is going to get a good test here, as Greenvale simply picked up where they left off last week.
The Jets easily took care Avondale Heights without Addam Maric and Courtenay Dempsey in the 22.
Jacob Thompson will prove a handful for Nathan Grima’s back line and the Jets’ midfield hasn’t lost a step after losing the services of Stephen Brewer over the summer.
Flip a coin for this one.
PASCOE VALE v KEILOR
The loser here heads into Round 3 at 0-2, so stakes are high.
Both clubs led their respective Round 1 games at half time only to let slip their advantages in the second half.
Keilor showed in patches what they’re capable of on Good Friday, but there’s a reason we have an entire chapter dedicated to ‘four-quarter efforts’ in the coaches’ manual.
They have increased their goal-kicking power up forward with new recruit Josh Martin emerging from Good Friday with two snags, while Dean Galea is going to give your his usual three or four at minimum most weeks.
Pascoe Vale has discovered some potency of its own, however, and it was on full display against the premiers last week.
Their forward line duo of Patrick Veszpremi and Matthew Watson is going to prove a handful for Mick Tanner and his fellow Blues defenders, while it’ll be interesting to see how Lachie Hansen gets used in this one after a quiet game last week.
The microscope will be focused onto the loser of this one.
ESSENDON DOUTTA STARS v GLENROY
Another match-up that might have repercussions for the loser.
When Glenroy won promotion out of Essendon Ford Division 1 last September, they probably wouldn’t have expected to go into an early-season away game against Douttas as a favourite the following year.
But after a very solid first-up hit-out against West Coburg where the Roys led by 21 points at half time, we’ve already seen that Glenroy is no easy-beat in Strathmore Community Bank Premier Division.
Based on our first impressions last weekend, maybe Essendon Doutta Stars is an easy-beat at this point of the new season.
With a side that was virtually unrecognisable, the Stars failed to give a yelp at Monk Oval and were completely outplayed from the start.
No Premier Division calibre side should be conceding 100 points in a half, so Dean Wallis will be sure to get into the ear of this defenders as they prepare to face up to Jayden Walker, Adam Winter and Aaron Kite.
Jordan Schroder aside, there were no winners on the park for Douttas last week.
In front a hopeful home crowd at NJO, the mob in navy blue and gold will want to make sure they make amends on last week’s shocker.
WEST COBURG v ABERFELDIE
As funny as some may think this sounds, West Coburg has a habit of coming into games like this with some kind of hope of pulling off an upset.
Digby Morrell and his crew will have looked at the footage from Aberfeldie’s close win over Pascoe Vale and discovered some chinks in the Abers armour.
The premiers had a slow start last week and had to claw their way back from a four-goal quarter time deficit to just sneak over the line.
Granted, the Gorillas were missing some key cogs, most notably defender Ryan Allan, but if Pacco showed EDFL neutrals anything last week at Clifton Park, it was that the mob in two shades of blue is certainly beatable.
West Coburg’s win over Glenroy shouldn’t be overlooked.
With an improved midfield and, finally, a key forward option finding his way in the competition in Daniel Archer, the pieces are starting to fall into place for the Burgers.
As long as they’re willing to be daring through the midfield and take full advantage of the familiar surrounds of City Oval, then there is a chance of a surprise in this one.
AVONDALE HEIGHTS v MARIBYRNONG PARK
Avondale Heights coach Donald McDonald is already on the record about 2018 being more about development than finals.
His young side stayed with Greenvale up at Section Road for three quarters last week before running out of legs on a warm day.
They simply didn’t have the depth to keep up with Greenvale but it was encouraging to see Scott Clouston, Scott Harding, Dennis Armfield and Mathew Cravino all play well.
Their top end is nothing to scoff at.
Whether they have the staying power to compete with Maribyrnong Park is what we’re looking for from Avondale Heights in this one.
Marby was at its scintillating best from the get-go against Douttas last week and was keen to build some early percentage once the four points were in the bag.
The Lions had 12 goal-kickers last week, including a combined eight that were shared between quality midfielders Will Martiniello, Caleb Vearing and Reynolds Medallist, Zac Keogh.
If Robbie Castello’s men bring that potency and energy to Canning Street, then it could be another tough day at the office for the Heights.