Men's Football Preview: Round 10
By Lincoln Edmunds
After a well earnt week off, SFNL action returns to the community this weekend with several important clashes taking place in Division 1.
Mordialloc’s quest to keep their season alive begins at Ben Kavanagh Reserve when they host the winless Panthers to kick start the round.
The Bloods have dropped three of their past four but can square their win-loss ledger to 5-5 with a victory here.
They’ll enter as warm favourites with East Malvern enduring a season of pain thus far to hold the unwanted position of last on the ladder.
Despite their struggles, Tom Preece has been a shining light for the Panthers averaging 29 touches a game.
He’ll need to be at his best and more if the Panthers are to snap their winless streak.
At the other end of the ladder, the first placed Eagles will be out to soar once again when they host Springvale Districts at Livingston Reserve.
Cranbourne has been superb since entering the competition, dropping just one game to make a big statement in the first half of the year.
Those who cast their eye over the local footy scene won’t be surprised to see Marc Holt topping the competition as the leading goal kicker, the sharp shooter leading all comers with 38 majors.
Springy have more than held their own since promotion from Division 2 and currently sit at 4-5 after an impressive win against the Colts before the bye.
As expected, Tyrone Vickery has caused plenty of headaches for opposition defenders, regularly taking marks inside 50 to slot 33 goals in just seven appearances.
If you’re in the area and want to see some quality forwards go about their craft at either end of the ground, make sure you get down to watch this one!
Footy returns to the Peanut Farm with St Kilda City looking to build on a bright first half of the year when they encounter Port Melbourne Colts on Saturday afternoon.
Despite their positive 6-3 record, the Saints have dropped two of their past three and appear to be slightly off the pace compared to the top couple of teams.
At the tender age of 38, Dane Swan continues to make things look easy, the Brownlow medallist notching up a best afield performance against the Rosellas with 38 touches and three goals.
It wasn’t enough to help the Saints get the win but the veteran is obviously a major cog of the Saints outfit when he takes the field, averaging 34 touches from his four appearances.
The Colts season has seemingly slipped away in recent times, with three losses on the bounce consigning them to eighth place on the ladder.
It’s been a frustrating season for the visitors, showing plenty of promise some weeks before stumbling badly in others.
They certainly don’t have trouble finding the footy with all of Justin Taylor, Stephen Brewer and Callan Wellings averaging over 30 disposals per game.
A loss here would be just about curtains for 2022 but this outfit is more than capable of claiming a victory here if they play to their potential.
The battle of Bentleigh takes place at Arthur Street with local rivals Bentleigh and St Paul’s McKinnon squaring off once again in 2022.
The form line of both clubs could not be more contrasting at the halfway mark of the year, with the third placed Dogs notching up seven wins to sit firmly in Premiership contention.
The Demons on the other hand have battled, with their only win of the season coming back in Round 2 against the struggling Panthers.
Nick Wynne has toiled hard for the home side this season with an average of 28 touches per outing and Ben Cooper has been in the thick of things as usual.
For the Dogs, Matthew O’Brien has found plenty of the footy and Nicholas Stathopoulos has been consistent in front of goal with an average return of two majors per game.
Expect the visitors to have too many weapons here.
The match of the round takes place at Souter Oval, with home side Dingley challenged with the task of taking down an impressive Cheltenham outfit to close out Division 1 action.
The Rosellas are once again in premiership calculations following a 7-2 start to the season, the team currently on an unbeaten seven-game streak.
They’ll be out for revenge too after they lowered their colours to the Dingoes in Round 1, with some wayward goal kicking consigning them to a 26-point loss.
Much has changed since then and it will be interesting to see how both sides fare after a week off.
The Dingoes currently sit one game clear in fifth spot, but a loss here would leave them with a 5-5 win-loss record with several teams breathing down their neck.
There’s plenty of firepower in both sides forward lines, with Dingley duo Dan Farmer and Justin Van Unen combing for 48 goals between them and Josh Fox leading the way for Cheltenham with 33.
If recent history is anything to go by, this should be a high quality affair!
Fresh from a two-week hiatus, Hampton Park must achieve what no team has before them this season, knock off the Doveton Doves.
Whilst they should have the fresh legs following an extended break, the Redbacks will need to ensure their skills are razor sharp if they are to mount a serious challenge the competition front runners.
The Doves made it eight from eight before the bye with a solid showing against the Bears and currently sit as the team to beat at the half way mark of the season.
There have been rumors swirling that St Kilda AFL rookie Josiah Kyle could pull on the boots for the Doves this weekend, so there’ll no doubt be plenty of interest surrounding the final team sheet come Saturday.
Whether he plays or not, the Redbacks will be up against it regardless.
Both Heatherton and Highett will be desperate for a victory to kickstart the backend of the season, both clubs currently struggling in the bottom three.
It’s been another season of toil for the Tonners, yet to taste victory in 2022 with a paltry average of just 27 points per game.
The Doggies started the season brightly, but are currently on a four-game losing streak and will be desperate to ensure that figure doesn’t balloon out to five.
Despite a disappointing past month, the Dogs sit just two points behind fifth spot and if they can recapture some of their early season form, their season may be far from over.
A win here for the visitors is a non-negotiable.
Rowley Allan Reserve hosts the pick of Division 2 action this weekend, with Keysborough taking on Caulfield in what should be a cracking contest.
The Burras are on track for yet another finals appearance after a strong first half of the year and they can create some breathing space between their rivals with a win here.
Matt Carnelley has provided a strong target up forward for the home side with 21 goals and you can confidently pencil him in for a goal or two each weekend.
The Bears currently sit at 4-4 with plenty to build on as they prepare to make a charge towards September.
They have struggled to hit the scoreboard compared to other teams and their percentage currently sits under 100, leaving them vulnerable if the ladder becomes tight at the end of the year.
A triumph here against the Burras on enemy turf would be a great launching pad and with superstars like Jake Buggy and Chris Smith on their side, there’s everything chance they’ll be up for the fight.
Division 2 action wraps up at Hurlingham Reserve with East Brighton and Skye locking horns in an important clash for the home side.
Despite having more losses than wins, the Vampires sit just two points behind fourth spot and if results go as expected could find themselves inside the top four come Saturday evening.
Their past three appearances have been the definition of a mixed bag, featuring all three possible results and they’ll be need to be wary against the plucky Bombers.
Despite saluting just once this season, Skye have been more than competitive in patches and are arguably unlucky to have only sung the song once thus far.
They’ll head into this clash with nothing to lose and would love nothing more than spoiling the home sides party.
Chelsea Heights has the bye this weekend.
Division 3 action returns with a bang as Endeavour Hills and Black Rock face off in a what shapes as beauty of a contest at Barry Simon Reserve.
The Falcons season was on life support at 1-5 before three stunning victories kept their campaign alive before the bye.
Now just one game outside the top four, the home side will be hoping that the break in play doesn’t halt their momentum.
Sean Van Velsen and Nick Gay have been outstanding for the Hills and Jarrod Marolla has hit the scoreboard in each game he’s played this year.
The Jets are sitting pretty on top of the table with just the one blemish next to their name, and look to be the team to beat heading into the second half of the season.
Byron Wright has been phenomenal for Black Rock and will be eager to carry on where he left off following eight majors against the Saints in his last hit out.
This is a fascinating clash to restart the season and it will be a great test for both clubs to see where they are at.
Another ripping clash awaits Division 3 followers down at Essex Heights Reserve, with Ashwood and Narre South Saints battling it out in a crucial outing for both clubs.
Just one game separates both these clubs from third to fifth on the ladder, so it’s fair to say this contest is the definition of an eight-point game.
One clear cut difference between the two sides is percentage however, with the Magpies claiming superiority over the Saints with 170% to 112%.
In a season with a logjammed ladder, percentage could have a big role to play.
Neither of these sides will be worrying about that when they take the field however, with four crucial points in the back pocket the objective come Saturday.
An interesting contest between South Yarra and Carrum Patterson Lakes awaits at Leigh Park, both sides entering the mid-season break with back-to-back losses.
That statement is particularly eyebrow raising for the Lions, who have stumbled slightly to put their spot in the top four under a little bit of pressure.
Regardless, CPL will enter this as warm favourites but it will be interesting to see what sort of response the visitors produce after stewing on those two defeats over the long weekend.
The round wraps up with Clayton and Murrumbeena locking horns at Meade Reserve, with Beena looking to build on their brilliant first half of the season with win number seven.
The visitors have bounced back after a horrific 2021 campaign and are in the box seat to claim a top two finish after a strong start to the year.
Steve Tolongs has been a big part of Beenas success, starring up forward with 40 goals from his nine appearances.
In the other camp, the Clays have been down compared to seasons past but have still put up a fight most weeks.
Paul Tsoucalas continues to prove his worth in the front half with 32 majors and Byron Hoe has put together yet another excellent year.
At 2-7, their finals flame is all but extinguished, but what we all love about footy is that anything can happen from here.
Lyndale and Moorabbin reboot the season for Division 4, with both sides looking to arrest recent poor form when they hit the field on Saturday afternoon.
The Kangaroos limped into the bye following two drubbings against Lyndhurst and South Mornington, and will need everything to go right from here to feature in September.
Likewise, the Pumas have been belted in recent outings and they’ll relish the prospect of a much tighter affair on their home turf.
Round 1 saw the Roos salute by a couple of goals and it wouldn’t be a surprise if the margin hovered around a similar range on either side of the coin here.
Hallam enter their clash against Cerberus as hot favourites, with the third placed Hawks looking to stitch up win number eight against the ninth placed Dogs.
Hallam entered the bye on a positive note with a win over the Redlegs and will be eager to build some solid form into the pointy end of the season.
Dylan Vanderwert and Rory McIvor have been outstanding for the home side this year, as has Jack Sharlassian who has dominated up forward with 38 goals to sit second in the competitions goal scorers.
It’s been a tough old season for Cerberus and they’ll be hoping to fare a little better than their Round 1 clash against the Hawks where they were held goalless.
Another one-sided affair looms over at Marriott Waters Reserve when Lyndhurst welcome bottom placed Doveton in their Round 10 clash.
The Lightning have been a joy to watch this season playing an aggressive and attractive game style, slicing through teams on their way to a staggering average of 126 points per game.
Jarryd McGrath has done the bulk of the damage in front of the big sticks leading the competition for goals with 39, including 20 majors in his past two appearances.
Unfortunately for the Eagles, it looks like both the Lightning and McGrath will be boosting their averages in this one.
Competition front runners and yet to be beaten Frankston return to action in their home match up against Dandenong at Overport Park.
The Dolphins have been a class above this year, piling on goals for fun with a phenomenal average of 148 points per appearance. Seriously read that again.
While their offence has caught the eye, their defence should not go unnoticed either, averaging a miserly 42 points per game which has seen them build a formidable percentage of 349%.
Their opponents, the Redlegs, have enjoyed a solid season to date with five wins on the board but they’ll need to produce the proverbial day out here if they’re to claim the spoils.
Round 10 of SFNL action comes to a close at Peterson Street Reserve with Hampton and South Mornington squaring off for the second time this season.
The Tigers hit the road eager to maintain their grip on fourth spot with the Redlegs breathing down their neck just four points behind in fifth.
The visitors comfortably took care of the Hammers in their Round one stoush and put together a solid month of football before the mid-season break.
Jordan Waite has been superb up forward, hitting the scoreboard every time he’s pulled on the jumper for the Tigers this season.
The Hammers enjoyed a gutsy come from behind win against Cerberus before the bye, and will need to conjure up some similar fighting spirit if they’re to test the Tiges here.