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Strathmore Community Bank Division 2 Preview - Round 6

By Adem Saricaoglu


MOONEE VALLEY v COBURG DISTRICTS
🎥 Broadcast Game 📻
Saturday 2:15pm at Ormond Park

THIS is clearly the pick of the games for Round 6 and is deservingly Saturday’s EDFL Match of the Day broadcast game.

In a year where there may be up to five genuine premiership contenders in Strathmore Community Bank Division 2 and only four finals spots available, games like this loom as potential ‘eight-pointers’.

Moonee Valley is at 2-2 but those two losses were somewhat ‘honourable’ against Burnside Heights and the Northern Saints.

Having since produced solid back-to-back wins over Jacana and East Sunbury, hopefully Shanon Carroll’s men have now found their groove.

The top end of Moonee Valley’s list is among the best of the division and when at full strength, the Fog will be hard to beat.

Skipper Ned Wilson was Moonee Valley’s runner last week against the Thunder, which would indicate he’s close to returning to the side after last year’s knee reconstruction.

If he does play and the Fog is close to fielding its best 22, then Coburg Districts could be in for a tough slog.

The Lions are chugging along nicely at 3-1, but there is definitely more room for improvement.

They had to work hard for their win over Hadfield last week and forward Tom Gleeson is now out of action with a hamstring complaint, according to Leader Newspapers.

That might place a heavy burden on Matthew Vesnaver, so the Lions will be hopeful they can get a good spread of contributors up forward to counter Moonee Valley’s depth of talent across the ground.


EAST SUNBURY v NORTHERN SAINTS
Saturday 2:15pm at John McMahon Reserve

I wrote above that we probably have five premiership contenders in Division 2.

It should be six.

East Sunbury has been the big disappointment of 2019 and I don’t think you can solely blame its form slump on the departures of Brad Bernacki and Jorden Braddy over the summer.

Last year the Thunder was getting a solid contribution from its lower tier of players while its stars in Kamen Ogilvie and Tom Cree were able to cause havoc for opposition sides.

It seems as though that is no longer the case as most of East Sunbury’s top-enders are still pulling their weight, but the lower tier isn’t.

In front of a home crowd and against quality opposition, this is East Sunbury’s chance to re-assert itself as a Division 2 contender and move to 3-3, as making the finals from 2-4 looks to be too much of a tough ask in this highly-competitive Division 2 season.

The Northern Saints only have two wins themselves, and yet their narrative is far more positive than that of East Sunbury’s so far this year.

The two losses came against the only two undefeated teams in the division and neither of them were blowouts.

The two wins were impressive.

A deep midfield that includes top-enders Tamer Abdallah, Bilal Allouch and Eliot Kako is going to win a lot of games for the Saints this year and on a big ground that will suit their free-flowing game style, Northern should be full of confidence.

Expect a shoot-out.


KEILOR PARK v BURNSIDE HEIGHTS
Saturday 2:15pm at Keilor Park Reserve

There isn’t much that can be said here, which is unfortunate for Keilor Park.

Luckily the Devils have an upbeat coach in John Mangos and a playing group that knows opposition sides are going to take advantage of them and build percentage, so hopefully they can continue to fight hard and try their best to make life hard for whoever they come up against each week.

The news surrounding Jacana will give Keilor Park hope that maybe they can score a win this season.

If I were Mangos, I’d be preparing for the Round 13 clash against the heavily-depleted Jags in mid-July as though it is Keilor Park’s grand final.

That would give the Devils a nice six-week block to get ready and look to improve its game against high-quality opposition.

Here against the Bears, Mangos needs to stop the flow coming Josh Covelli’s way.

The Bears’ spearhead would love to reach 100 goals this year and will need to kick a big bag here to help get him to three figures after a quiet fortnight leading into the Round 5 bye.

Burnside Heights will win, it’s just a matter of what the final margin will be.

Hopefully the Devils stay upbeat.


JACANA v SUNBURY KANGAROOS
Saturday 5:00pm at Jacana Reserve

Fair to say it’s been a dramatic couple of weeks for Jacana.

Instead of speculating about what has happened, I’m only going to deal with the facts as they currently stand.

As of Thursday lunchtime, more than a dozen senior players have been transferred out of the club since the start of May.

Among them are spearhead Cameron Cloke and captain Bryce Kimuliatis, who has re-connected with 2017 premiership teammate Billy Morrison at Craigieburn in Division 1.

There are several more outgoing transfers still pending.

After forfeiting its game against the Northern Saints last week, the Jags are aiming to field a side this Saturday evening against the ladder-leading Sunbury Kangaroos, but the calibre of that line-up remains uncertain.

Essentially, Jacana is now in a very similar situation to Keilor Park.

Some may consider all of this to be a lucky break for the Kangaroos, because last week they were able to beat up on Keilor Park and significantly boost their percentage.

Now they can do it again against what will likely be an equally-depleted Jacana outfit.

Hopefully the Jags can keep their heads held high and show some pride in their famous purple and gold jumper that has been worn proudly by the likes of Chris Johnson, Scott Wynd and Bruce Doull throughout their history.

This is an important night for the club and hopefully we will see plenty of Jacana people, and EDFL people for that matter, turn up and show their support.

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