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EDFL King's Birthday Preview

Match preview & ins and outs!

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Saturday 2:15pm at Windy Hill
Full squads

In: Ben Ronke, Benjamin Williamson, Matthew Caddeo, Max Panagiotopoulos, Nic Walsh, Darby Scott.

Out: Karl Brown, Max Simpson, Jai Bahnert.

In: Sam O’Loughlin, Benjamin Holian, Callum Clinnick, Lucas Scerri, Matthew Pellegrino, Harry Ryan.

Out: Harry Jones, Kyle Weightman, Daniel Mammoliti.

EDFL football returns to Windy Hill for the annual King’s Birthday blockbuster between Aberfeldie and Strathmore.

The two sides are evenly poised heading into this contest with five wins and two losses each, a marginal percentage buffer for Strathmore the only difference.

The old rivals have played in some thrilling contests over the years with the last time these sides met resulting in a draw, this fixture in 2022 ended in a one-point Aberfeldie triumph, and of course, the extra time grand final which saw Strathmore hoist the premiership cup.

Strathmore did manage to win this fixture by 33 points last year which was reflective of the nature of their respective seasons, but both sides enter different-looking outfits.

Karl Brown has enjoyed a strong return this season but is out of the Aberfeldie lineup after succumbing to what looks to be a season-ending injury.

Utility Max Simpson will also miss the contest alongside Jai Bahnert, while Ben Ronke highlights the inclusions.

Ronke has been at the forefront of the ball-winning ability Aberfeldie has shown this season currently ranked fourth in the league for contested possessions (15.7 per game) in a two blues side ranked third.

Clay Illman has utilised Ronke in both the midfield and up forward with 15 goals coming off his boot, but it’ll be interesting to see what kind of split he decides on with no Brown up forward and stars in the engine room unit for the Mores.

That unit will be without Harry Jones for tomorrow with Kyle Weightman and Daniel Mammoliti also out for Strathmore.

Jones has added extra grunt in the middle leading the clearance averages for a Strathmore side ranked last in that area.

While Aberfeldie aren’t much better in clearance work, ruck Nick Owens has faced a big task in stepping up for Andrew Vavra who has been absent from Strathmore and will face another big task against the number one hit out player in the competition in Josh Hotchkin.

With Abers not maximising that dominance from the tap (ranked eighth in clearances), it opens the door for the highly decorated Adam Iacobucci, 2022 Reynolds medalist Will Jury, and prized recruit Trent Dumont to cancel that aerial advantage.

Strathmore mightn’t win the contested footy as much as the next side (ranked last), but they take care of the footy as well as any side and with Abers ranked second last for tackles, the Mores will be looking to slice through the two blues defence in open play.

With the likes of Brodie Newman and Liam Cavanagh intercepting at either end, Nic Cattapan and Luke Jarrad orchestrating out of their defensive halves, livewire forwards, and experienced stars on every line, this should be a belter.


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