Match-ups a key

LEADER: Leitchville/Gunbower coach, Matt Hawken with the club’s 1995 Northern and Echuca Football League premiership cup.
Nanjing Night Net

INDIVIDUAL match-ups will be the key to tomorrow’s Heathcote District Football Netball League grand final, according to Leitchville/Gunbower coach, Matt Hawken.

The Bombers have played one match since their round 18 loss to North Bendigo, but have been keeping up their intensity behind the scenes.

A group of Melbourne-based players have been training at Charlton, whilst the senior group held a session at Heathcote last Saturday before heading to Toolleen to watch the Bulldogs defeat Colbinabbin.

“North Bendigo is a really good side, they had a few players out for the qualifying final against Colbinabbin, but they have all returned,” Hawken said.

The Heathcote training session was the second match-day preparation held in the past month, with a similar program occurring during the first weekend of the finals.

Twenty-five players took to the track last Saturday, with the same number of players in contention for tomorrow’s grand final.

“During the home and away season we’ve played 34 players, so there are 24 to 25 in the mix,” Hawken said.

“Conditions will play their part. Huntly is a fast track and we’ve got to be able to run for four quarters.”

The Bulldogs’ three pre-season recruits – ruckman Troy Kelm, as well as forwards Sam Barnes and Brady Herdman – are key players Hawken identified as individuals who can turn the match North Bendigo’s way.

Barnes and Herdman have played in both encounters against the Bombers this season, with Kelm taking to the field in the Bulldogs’ 32-point win against the minor premiers in round 18.

“The Bulldogs also have a good midfield that put tags on our players back in round 18, but this is something our players have to overcome,” Hawken said.

The Bombers also have a number of key players at its disposal, including Joel Helman, Matt Perri and Adam Deccico.

“North Bendigo has also not seen Brendan Hancock this season,” Hawken said.

“I hope the Leitchville and Gunbower communities will come out to Huntly and support us.”

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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