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Wimmera football teams primed for season start

Harry Ganley tackles Damian Joiner, Ararat vs Stawell, Good Friday football.

Harry Ganley tackles Damian Joiner.

By DEAN LAWSON
Teams will start a jostle for the right to be the flag-bearer for Wimmera Football League when the competition’s 2019 season gets underway on Saturday.
While much of the pre-season chatter throughout the league has been about the strength of reigning premier Horsham, it is a group of challengers that will generate the most interest.
If Wimmera league has taught us anything over the years, it is that the competition is much more than simply about clubs. It is about community representation and wearing the colours of a city, town or district.
A prime example is likely to emerge at 2.20pm at Ararat’s Alexandra Oval when the Ararat Rats take on Warrack Eagles.
The Rats are rekindling a spirit of Ararat representation and meet an Eagles side that sees itself as a champion for the northern Wimmera cereal plains.
Both are on the hunt for big seasons and a solid start to the season.
Similar scenarios will unfold at football grounds across the region as fresh line-ups stick a nervous toe into the 2019 season.
Dimboola has been the subject of all sorts of conjecture during the off-season and fans will be hoping the fall-out is positive.
Dimboola coaches Justin Beugelaar and Matthew Everett have a mighty job of raising a phoenix from the ashes of a disappointing last three years and will attempt to launch a new brand against Nhill on Saturday.
The Roos, with an influx of players, appear considerably different to last season but what this means remains to be seen.
Nhill has also recruited strongly to replace departures, and coach Tim Bone and fellow team leaders will want to quickly establish a belief their side can play in the finals.
Nhill is at home to the Roos for the season opener with both clubs using the fixture to recognise ‘Movember’, men’s health and a need for greater awareness of mental illness.
The clubs will wear special jumpers for the occasion and 3WM radio’s Local Footy Live team will call the game.
Age-old rivalries are sure to surface at Davis Park, just like they will at Murtoa where Minyip-Murtoa meets Horsham Saints.
Some watchers scanning player personnel have predicted both these sides to lose some ‘oomph’ this year.
But both camps have a habit of thumbing their nose at such speculation through results and much will come down to which side adapts best to the sometimes-tricky confines of Murtoa Recreation Reserve.
A clash between last year’s runners-up Southern Mallee Giants and Stawell rounds out what looms as an intriguing season opener.
There seems little doubt the Giants will again field an intense and highly competitive unit and Stawell fans will watch closely to gauge whether their side is on the up.
This match at Beulah looms as a classic contest between a traditional city-based force and a rural, community-driven camp, which has experienced few stumbles since inception.
Watching it all unfold from a lofty 2018 perch will be Horsham, which has a first-round bye.

The entire April 10, 2019 edition of The Weekly Advertiser is available online. READ IT HERE!

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Posted on Apr 10 2019

Posted by on Apr 10 2019. Filed under Sport. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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