Summer is a lovely time of year, with sunshine and lazy days at the cricket, although it always leaves a slightly empty feeling. Finally it is time to get the heart racing as the ball is bounced to start the 2014 SFL season.
There is so much to look forward to, but first the Doveton Eagles deserve one more pat on the back for a perfect season in 2013. Congratulations to the club, and good luck as it takes on a new challenge in Division 2.
The spotlight will be shining on Division 3 action this week, and it will do so literally at Hallam Reserve, where the Hawks are set to battle the new boys in the division, South Yarra, in a Friday night game.
Speaking on SEN radio, league CEO David Cannizzo praised South Yarra for developing an excellent strategic plan. “They’ll be in a really good place for this year,” he said. It is time to see if they can translate this planning into on-field success.
Black Rock hosts Carrum Patterson Lakes at McDonald Reserve, and it is an opportunity for the Jets to show they have made up ground on last year’s runners-up, after the Lions were so impressive in their first season.
Endeavour Hills travels to Essex Heights Reserve to take on Ashwood. The Falcons are confident of improvement under new senior coach Steve Muscat, and it will be a good opportunity to test themselves against the Magpies, a side which made the finals last season.
Greaves Reserve is the venue for an intriguing contest between Dandenong and Mount Waverley. The Redlegs got home by 10 points when these teams met in last year’s finals series. In round 15 the Mountain Lions made an impressive come back, after trailing at every break, but fell short of Dandenong by four points.
Lyndale visits Edinburgh Reserve to play Sandown. These two teams were only separated by percentage last year, and missed the finals by a game. It will be interesting to see which side gains an edge to commence the 2014 competition.
Enjoy the start of the SFL season. It is a time of optimism for all clubs. Thank goodness the long wait is over. At this time of year you may even be lucky enough to enjoy some sunshine with your footy, unless you are at the game in Hallam, in which case the thrill of night football is a pretty good trade off.