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EDFL Men’s Weekend Outlook - Thursday May 16, 2024

Presented by Strathmore Community Bank

Airport West will head to Section Road to take on Greenvale to kick off Round 6 of the top flight.

Airport West are searching for their first win, while Greenvale will want to keep in touch with the finals pack and create separation depending on other results across the weekend.

A win here is vital for the Jets to do so with tough games against Strathmore, Pascoe Vale, and Aberfeldie to follow.

The Eagles have dropped some winnable games with accuracy costing them as well as an inability so far to put a four-quarter performance together.

The last time these sides met it was a shootout at Hansen Reserve in the final game of 2023, with Greenvale taking the four points in a 143-124 victory.

It hasn’t been the easiest start to life in the top flight for Deer Park and it won’t get any easier as they face an Aberfeldie side hungry to amend back-to-back losses.

A disappointing effort in front of goal handed them a loss against Pascoe Vale before they showed they could keep up with Keilor for three quarters, but a significant drop off resulted in a 10-goal loss.

Coach Clay Illman will be wanting to bounce back strong in their first meeting with the Lions.

Deer Park are yet to put up a four-quarter performance with coach Jamie Madigan admitting on the NXP Post Game Show last week that 10-minute blocks or lapses for full quarters have been the difference.

They’re currently ranked sixth for points scored, but have leaked the most points against as well as the most turnovers.

Aberfeldie will head into this game as favourites, but Deer Park will be looking to put some four-quarter performances together sooner rather than later.

An interesting clash looms at Overland Reserve when East Keilor takes on Essendon Doutta Stars.

The Cougars are looking for three on the trot but it won’t come easy against Douttas who’ve come within three goals against their last two opponents in Strathmore and Greenvale.

Douttas have been inaccurate in those two losses but were strong offensively in their previous two outings to pick up a pair of wins which is something Barry Prendergast will be hoping to return to.

They’ve been unable to prevent forwards from getting off the chain with Strathmore’s Amin Naim (four goals) and Greenvale’s Josh Porter (five goals) piling on the pain.

Stopping Lachie Smart will be a key focus and proves a tricky hybrid matchup paired with Frank Campisi.

The Cougars did a good job curbing the influence of Majak Daw last week and will need to do the same against aerial threats like Oscar Sasalu, Bailey Ryan, and Oskar Balta.

It’s a top-of-the-table clash between the undefeated Pascoe Vale and Keilor at Raeburn Reserve.

The Panthers are positioned as the biggest remaining challenger for the Blues who have dealt with other current top-five sides Strathmore, Aberfeldie, and Greenvale this season.

It’s a new-look Pascoe Vale for season 2024 with Leigh Tudor getting the Panthers off to a flying start with wins against Strathmore and Aberfeldie.

Multiple 2023 premiership-winning Under 18.5 players have stepped up and showed their abilities as best 22 players, while the inclusions of Jake Moorhead and Thomas Hofert have proved fruitful.

Ahmed Saad suited up for his first game in red and black last week and booted four goals, but it remains to be seen whether he backs it up following a return from injury.

He joined Matthew Watson up forward who booted eight goals and has reminded everyone the threat he poses in front of goal after spending time further afield at various points of last season.

Many of their key pieces from their preliminary final side remain with Sunny Brazier enjoying a strong start to the season, as well as Ben Allan and Lachie Stredwick.

Keilor on the other hand have been as good as expected to start the season and will head into this contest benefiting from a challenge posed by Aberfeldie in their last game.

Abers were well in the contest but the Blues did what they’ve done to so many and piled on eight goals to one in the final quarter to take the strong win.

The Keilor pile on is familiar to the Panthers who came within 12 points of the Blues in their first meeting in 2023, but had seven goals to one kicked on them in the opening quarter of the following matchup in the pouring rain.

Pascoe Vale were the last side to defeat Keilor which was the 2022 elimination final, can they cause a stirring win or will Keilor’s reign of dominance continue?

Strathmore will get their second look at Canning Reserve in as many weeks when they take on Avondale Heights.

The Mores are looking to pick up their third win in a row while Avondale Heights are searching for their first win since Round 1.

Avondale Heights have been competitive in their losses with them scoring 94 points in two of their defeats..

Their defence has leaked some big scores through despite their offensive potency, conceding 95 points or more in their four losses – 139 from Pascoe Vale last week the crescendo.

If they can tighten up on defence, they should back themselves to kick a winning score with Essendon Doutta Stars coming within 16 points of the Mores just a couple of weeks ago.

Craigieburn and Keilor Park will kick off Strathmore Community Bank Division One at the unlikely venue of Greenvale Oval 2.

While resurfacing works keep Craigieburn off DS Aitken, it hasn’t kept them from getting off to a hot start in 2024 securing three wins from four games.

Their loss was a competitive one against the undefeated Hillside as they’ve been impressive in their push to regain a spot in finals action.

They’ll go in as heavy favourites against Keilor Park who’ve had a tough time of it in 2024.

Gradual improvement will be what Leigh Coles is after.

Oak Park will travel to Shark Park to play the undefeated Hillside having shown encouraging signs thus far.

A competitive outing against St Albans followed back-to-back wins which should hold Todd Clark’s side in good stead for this clash.

Jedd Taylor has brought his class week in, week out and was huge last week with 38 disposals (24 contested) and 14 clearances.

He’ll be one for Chris Daley to keep an eye on along with Anthony De Lorenzi, while Kane O’Halloran didn’t take long to stamp his authority on the competition sitting behind Josh Covelli in the league competition goal kicking leaderboard.

Covelli remains a difficult matchup for any defender and will take some stopping, but the class and experience of Nat Caruso and Robbie Castello will also provide headaches in the forward half.

It’ll be another good challenge for Oak Park as they work their way into the division against as good a Sharks outfit we’ve seen for a long time.

Roxburgh Park will look to carry momentum from a solid win last week into their clash with Maribyrnong Park at Monk Oval.

The Magpies powered home to beat Moonee Valley kicking six goals to one in the final term after trailing at the final break.

Marby, meanwhile, are coming off a game where they held their opponent goalless and kicked 28 of their own.

Maribyrnong Park will be keen for another big performance like that while Ross Terranova will be keen to show his Magpies can compete with a finals-calibre side.

Rupertswood will host West Coburg at Salesian College for their first meeting since the 2023 preliminary final.

The Burgers were of course victorious that day but they’ll play a very different-looking Rupo outfit who’ve shown encouraging signs after a tough summer.

The Sharks have averaged 83 points scored over their last three games, but have conceded scores of 100 and 150 in their last two losses.

West Coburg will be fresh from a week off and keen to continue that trend of big scores after kicking 120 in that preliminary final.

One of the more even matchups at face value closes out Division One action with Tullamarine facing Moonee Valley at Leo Dineen Reserve.

Each side has just one win from four games and will no doubt be disappointed with their starts to the season, here they have an opportunity to chalk up win number two.

The two sides are relatively even on the offensive end but Moonee Valley concede the most points on average of any team in Division One with big scores leaked to Marby and Hillside.

Tulla were competitive last week against a strong Hillside outfit, while the Fog will be keen to bounce back after a poor fourth quarter cost them the game.

One less side will be winless (most likely) when East Sunbury plays host to Northern Saints at John McMahon Recreation Reserve.

Northern Saints have been the surprise packet of the last two years but for different reasons, with not many predicting they would have gone five games without a win to start the season.

Tamer Abdallah would be hoping the group can remain united and get their season going.

They draw parallels to Sunbury Kangaroos last year who were 0-5 and got their first win against East Sunbury, beginning their path to the grand final.

It’ll be a hard road for that to happen, but Northern Saints have to start somewhere.

East Sunbury have had a tough start to the season with a 20-point loss to the Kangaroos a shining light.

Burnside Heights will head to Sewell Reserve to take on Glenroy as they look to keep their unbeaten streak alive.

The Bears handed Westmeadows their first loss of the season in convincing fashion and have firmly placed themselves in premiership discussions.

With Sunbury Kangaroos to follow the Roys, they’ll want to ensure they’re in as good form as possible.

Glenroy on the other hand are coming off their first win of the season with a thumping victory over East Sunbury.

With nine individual goal scorers, seven of which scored multiples, they’ll take a lot of confidence into this clash.

Hadfield will host Taylors Lakes at Martin Reserve with both sides coming off team-lifting victories.

The Hawks defeated local rivals Northern Saints by 14 points in what was a seesawing affair, while the Lions held off Coburg Districts by a single goal.

Injuries have riddled Taylors Lakes with Ben Weightman their most recent casualty.

The prized recruit starred for 22 goals through three games before going down in third quarter last week, and while no official word has come from the club, he’s not expected to suit up again this season.

Hadfield has had a good three weeks after a tough Round 1 showing, with wins against Northern Saints and Glenroy and a competitive showing against Sunbury Kangaroos.

While Taylors Lakes will still go in as favourites, this result will differ a lot from the last time they met.

One of the more enticing games of the round closes out Division Two with Westmeadows hosting Sunbury Kangaroos at Willowbrook Reserve.

The Tigers have impressed in the first season in Division Two playing an exciting brand which has so far held up well.

A loss to ladder-leaders Burnside Heights last week an outlier in an otherwise strong start, averaging 100 points per game while conceding just 60.

It’ll be yet another big test for Ash Flavel’s side however, when they come across Sunbury Kangaroos.

The only blemish for the Kangaroos came against Taylors Lakes in Round 1 and although they haven’t been in blistering form, they’ve ground out tough wins.

It’s clear they’re missing the offensive power Brody Watts and Rhys Magin brought to the table, but Shanon Carroll will be hoping his best mix isn’t far away with new faces leading the scoring output in their last game.

A win for Westy will move them two games clear of the Kangaroos, while a loss will draw them level on points.


Saturday 2:15pm at Clifton Park

Saturday 2:15pm at Greenvale Recreation Reserve

Saturday 2:15pm at Canning Reserve

Saturday 2:15pm at Overland Reserve

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Saturday 2:15pm at Raeburn Reserve

Saturday 2:15pm at Greenvale Recreation Reserve - Oval 2

Saturday 2:15pm at Salesian College

Saturday 2:15pm at Hillside Recreation Reserve

Saturday 2:15pm at Leo Dineen Reserve

Saturday 2:15pm at Monk Oval

Saturday 2:15pm at John McMahon Recreation Reserve

Saturday 2:15pm at Martin Reserve

Saturday 2:15pm at Willowbrook Reserve

Saturday 2:15pm at Sewell Reserve

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