Expectations to play finals are high amongst most clubs and all confident they will improve.
Last year’s grand finalists, premiers Nyora and Longwarry are once again the teams to beat and at the other end of the 2018 ladder Neerim South and Lang Lang who finished last and second bottom in 2018 have recruited well and should improve a lot which augurs well for an even competition full of upsets when the season kicks off on 6 April. The EDFL also welcome Yarragon into the competition and hope they meet all their goals in 2019. Five clubs, Buln Buln, Catani, Lang Lang, Nyora and Yarragon have appointed new coaches this season.
Coach: -Brent Eastwell Last Year 7th 7wins Prediction 5th – 7th
Still appear to be screaming out for more goal scoring power. Midfield and defence was honest as the day was long last year but not sure if this year’s list is any better. Plenty of good youngsters in the thirds last year should move into the seniors but expect the Lyrebirds to be more a nuisance for the teams that make the top five rather than make it. Heavy reliance again on evergreen ruckman Matt Gray while Trent and Hayden Baker, Jake Pierrehumbert and Charlie Park all have the ability to take their game to another level.
In: Luke O’Brien (Dusties), Josh Bloink (Warragul), Nick Castle (NNS), and Murray Kingwill (Dusties)
Out: Harry Wans (Drouin), Jack Nuttall, Tim Stoll & Jack Symes (all Warragul)
Coach: - Sein Clearihan Last year:5th 11 Wins Prediction 3st – 5th
The 2017 premiers have still got enough talent and experience to play finals football. Paul Pattison and Nick Visser are amongst the premier midfielders in the competition and barring injury their presence will carry the Blues a long way. Defender Dale Johnson is often unobtrusive but efficient taking on the best forward in the opposition and shutting him down. Young ruck Jackson Caddy shapes as a star and the Blues boast more than a handful of thirds from last year led by Kiam Rose and Jason Cox that can make their presence felt at senior level this year. The Blues defence was too loose against the better sides last year and it will need to fix this aspect of its game to play finals.
In: Daniel Barrand, Matt Barrand (both Ellinbank)
Coach: - Ben Wragg Last Year: 6th 9 Wins Prediction 4th – 6th
In: Josh Peterson (Dusties)
Out: Jared Lane (Warragul)
The return to the club of classy running half back Josh Peterson will be a real asset. Shaun Phelan and Tim Mashado both showed pace and creativity across the forward line in 2018 but the Bankers still look like they need more leg speed through the middle if they are to threaten the top sides. If the Bankers can get a full season from its experienced quartet of Ben Wragg, Adam Cook, Tom Johnson and Mick Urie it is a shoo-in for finals footy but that is a big if based on their availability in 2018.
Coach: -Josh Collie Last Year 10th 1 win Prediction 8th – 10th
In: Josh & Luke Collie (Thorpdale), Matthew White (Silvan), Aaron Rose (Rosebud), Ben & Tom Mitchell (Pearcedale), Liam O’Connor (St Johns VAFA), Troy Miller (Officer).
Out: Ben Parrot (Tooradin Dalmore), Alex Saraikin (Tocumwal)
With a handful of mature recruits the Tigers will not be easy beats this year. Whether the newcomers can fill the forward and midfield woes last year and push for a top five position remains to be seen. Ruck recruit Ben Mitchell, 28, has had VFL senior experience with Frankston and should be prominent and also will double as a strong forward option. Troy McPherson and Josh Brown – both outstanding last year will relish the newcomers to lend support. Still got a lot of ground to make up having an average losing margin of 55 points in 2018.
Coach:-Daniel Fry Last Year Runners Up 14 Wins Prediction 1st or 2nd
Has unfinished business after it was desperately unlucky in last year’s grand final? The return of experienced midfielder Tye Holland (who played 176 games at Longwarry before 59 at the Dusties) and 20 year old forward Jedd Serong will be a plus. The later will give the Crows a third forward to complement Brayden McHugh and Daniel Fry who bagged 125 goals between them last year. Going to be hard for the opposition clubs to match up against three forwards fed a steady stream of entries.
In: Tye Holland (Dusties), Jedd Serong (Warragul)
Out: Ricky Delphine (Belgrave), Brody Rundell (SFL Tasmania)
Coach: - Nick Humphrey Last Year 9th 3 Wins Prediction 4th – 6th
In: Chris Urie (Traralgon), Cal Shiels (Port Douglas), Josh Morrison (NNG), Tyson Morrow (Warragul) Matt Laskey (Officer).
Out: Aaron & Dane Fawcett (Hill End), Jack Deen (Warragul), Jack Griffiths (Beaconsfield).
Have recruited well getting back many former top players led by Chris Urie, Cal Shiels and Tyssen Morrow. Their presence around Jackson Ward and Nathan Bayne will ensure the Cats field a more balanced team this year. Looms as a serious finals prospect. Many youngsters all made good strides last year while 2018 thirds Bill Cumming medallist Rhys George and Cooper Clancy look bona fide seniors. Should rise a fair way up the ladder.
Coach: Matt Shorey Last Year 9th 4 Wins Prediction 9th – 10th.
Need more run through the midfield. Ben Campbell was terrific last year but had little support. Ruckman Logan Deschepper showed plenty on occasions as did Nathan and Tom Campbell. New recruits Casey Thomsen, Mark Engley and Patrick Chin provide plenty of experience and the later two in particular should he handy around the goals. Nilma leaked goals too easily in 2018. Expect the Bombers to fill the bottom rungs of the ladder again.
In: Blake Kahan (returned), Patrick Chin (Beaconsfield), Casey Thomsen (Emerald), Mark Engley (Waverley Blues).
Out: Luke Lange (Korumburra), Mitchell Dance & Brent Simons (Castlemaine)
Coach: -Ryan Spooner Last Year Premiers 16 Wins Prediction 1st – 2nd
Were the feel good story of 2018. However backing up is often hard. Ryan Spooner has replaced Fia Too Too as coach. Will enter with the tag of the team to beat. Disciplined tight defence and smart heads around the midfield last year led by Dylan Heylen and Rhys Bancroft will see that the Saints go deep into the finals. Word around the traps is the new recruits will make an impact.
In: Brad Arnold & Mitchell Stansborough (Crib Point)
Out: Shaun Beecroft (Warragul)
Coach:- Mick Hawken Last year 10th Prediction 5th – 6th
In: Angelo & Phil Raso (Devon Meadows), Kris Kerr (returned)
Out: Chris Robinson (Drouin), Ben Hancock (Broadbeach)
Look like they can make inroads on their improvement last year. Robinson is a big loss and the same for Ben Hancock although he did not play a lot of games last year. To compensate there still looks plenty of upward scope in Tom Wyatt, Jayden Chiavaroli, Jayden Sullivan and Josh McNally.
Coach: - Simon Noy Last year 7th in MGFL 6 Wins Prediction 6th – 8th
In: Matt Moseley (Hill End), Josh Hammond (Hill End), Darcy Jones (Cora Lynn), Ben Monckton (Cora Lynn) Lachlan Shaw (Reservoir).
Out: Michael Whyte (Bunyip), Shane Smith (Bunyip)
Yarragon enter the league. First season coach Simon Noy expects his team to be very competitive. Have lost a few players from last year but appear to have recruited quite well. Many EDFL supporters will be familiar with their 2018 B&F Brad Wolfe who played at Bunyip while Tim Farthing (former Ellinbank) and Dean Fitzgerald (ex Bunyip) are two key defenders. Captain Mitch Jolly kicked 26 goals last season and is expected to be prominent across the forward line. Expect Yarragon to produce a few upsets but may struggle to make the top five.
Last Modified on 31/03/2019 20:55