Round 4: Men's Football Preview

After a couple of drawn out weeks due to public holidays, all football returns to the Saturday afternoon slot this week as we kick off Round Four in the Southern Football Netball League.


In Division 1, St Paul’s McKinnon will host Cheltenham in a contest shaping as match of the round, in a close run with the Dingley vs St.Kilda City contest.

Cheltenham are on the quick back up, with a 5-day turnaround after thumping Bentleigh by 104 points on Anzac Day.

Coach Des Ryan is confident they have found top form after a patchy start to the season.

“I feel like the guys have got their mojo back after losses to Dingley and Mordialloc so it’s good to square the ledger at 2/2. We meet St Paul’s at St Paul’s now who are a class act so we'll need to prepare for a really tough game.” Ryan said.

St Paul’s McKinnon themselves are coming off a huge victory and the extra two days preparation, combined with the game being at home, might be pivotal in what should be a close affair.

Fifth placed Dingley host Sixth placed St.Kilda City, with both sides currently 2-1 with healthy percentages.

The Saints suffered their first defeat last week with some big names out of the side and this week they face one of the competition’s most dangerous sides.

Dingley have won 13 of their last 15 games going back to the start of last year and remarkably, the position they sit on the ladder now (5th) is the lowest they have been placed after any round since 2018.

It’s reasonable to expect both of these teams to figure prominently in finals and this match will provide an early indication as the top half of the table starts to sort itself out.

An intriguing matchup is the one that has Mordialloc hosting Springvale Districts.

Springvale Districts were outstanding on good Friday in their standalone fixture to open Round Three.

A 13-point win over the highly fancied Dingley is the type of result that could kick start their season.

Mordialloc are coming off a frustrating loss to the Port Melbourne Colts, a game in which they started slowly, played catch up and couldn’t quite run down a Colts team that had the wind in their sails.

Was the Good Friday result simply an upset? Or is it indicative of what this Springvale Districts team might be able to produce going forward? Time will tell.

East Malvern have had a tricky start to the season and it doesn’t get any easier for them as they come up against a rampaging Cranbourne Eagles team.

Defensively, both teams are getting scored against to roughly the same level, averaging about 85 points per game against, but it’s the Eagles firepower that has been telling.

The home side is averaging nearly 17 goals a game more than their East Malvern opponents.

The visitors are difficult to get hold of, and they fight hard, but they may not have the weaponry to seriously trouble the might of the Eagles.

The final game of the round under lights will see Bentleigh on a quick back up attempting to upset an in-form Port Melbourne Colts team who are riding high after their terrific win last week.

Bentleigh haven't been too bad with the exception of the second half of last week’s game, and with both sides currently 1-2, it’s a huge chance for the victor to stay in touch with what appears to be a strong top five or six teams.



In Division 2 of the Southern Football Netball League we see a couple of terrific match ups as the season gets ready to launch into the late autumn/winter swing.

After a couple of interrupted season’s, it really feels like we are back at full throttle now, even if the pandemic continues to cause the odd disruption to squads.

The match of the round is shaping as the clash between Chelsea Heights and Highett, two teams who have only appeared twice so far this season.

Both of them are undefeated and both have been outstanding defensively with Chelsea Heights averaging only 30 points against across the opening fortnight, and Highett just 48 per game.

Chelsea Heights coach Josh Bull is pumped to have a big game in front of their home crowd this week.

“This is our first home game of the year which we are really excited about.” He said.

“Highett are one of the form teams in the competition, so this is a good test for our club.

“From what I can see, both clubs play a similar game style so Saturday’s game will be a cracker.”

At the other end of the table, we have Hampton Park and Skye both battling it out for their first win of the season at Robert Booth Reserve.

After a tough opening month of the season, both sides will sense a real opportunity to give their fans something to celebrate.

Hampton Park have been the marginally more competitive of the two sides, but we have also seen them on three occasions whereas Skye have played just twice, both times against powerful opposition.

Bottom side Heatherton will play host to Keysborough who are riding high after a strong win against Hampton Park last week.

Coach Chris Smith was pleased with their return to form and is hoping it can carry on into this clash.

“Both sides had some key players out but we were super impressed with the way we bounced back and we look forward to a tough block of footy coming up.” Smith said.

They should be able to bank another victory here and build some momentum ahead of a difficult period.

The final matchup of the round is a fascinating one with East Brighton playing host to the top side Doveton Doves.

East Brighton have the short turnaround after a gritty Anzac Day victory over the Caulfield Bears which isn’t ideal when facing a side in such terrific form, but it also does present the chance to keep riding the wave of momentum.

The Doves had a far more comfortable day at the office so it will likely be a clash of the fresh and rested Doveton Doves, and the battle-hardened East Brighton.

The Caulfield Bears will have the bye this week before taking on Chelsea Heights in Round Five.



An early season blockbuster headlines what should be an exciting round of football in the Southern Football Netball League Division Three Competition.

Two undefeated sides in Ashwood and Murrumbeena will face off in the match of the season so far at Essex Heights Reserve.

Statistically, both sides have produced similar seasons so far, with the exception of scoring. Murrumbeena is easily the highest scoring team in the competition, having kicked 24 more goals than their closest rival.

Coach Liam Wilson is happy with how his team has connected in the early rounds.

“To the boys credit they’ve gelled really quickly and have carried out what we’ve been trying to implement into our game style.” Wilson said.

South Yarra have found the going tough in the early rounds but have continued to work hard. They get another chance to progress forward when they face the impressive Black Rock team.

It hasn’t always been easy for Black Rock in the opening rounds, but they’ve been impressive with their resilience in winning all three games in various ways.

South Yarra’s commitment cannot be questioned and on their home deck they’d be keen to make their supporters proud and kick start their campaign.

Clayton are also winless across the first three rounds and on their home deck this week they welcome Carrum Patterson Lakes.

Clayton started well against Murrumbeena last week with a solid first quarter before fading to an 89-point defeat.

Carrum-Patterson Lakes had a whopping 47 scoring shots in their demolition of South Yarra last week with their coach Rohan Bleeker pleased with their adaptability this year.

"Like most teams we've been impacted by Covid and injuries pretty heavily this year." He said.

"This week we had our sixth debutant and on top of that we put a great emphasis on everyone playing their role. It was pleasing to have so many contributors.”

In the final game of the round Endeavour Hills will play host to the Narre South Saints.

Endeavour Hills have been the most competitive of the winless teams so far and this matchup does look very tight on paper.

Narre South Saints lost a competitive hitout with Ashwood, whilst Endeavour Hills lost a very similar game to Black Rock.

Of all the weekend’s fixtures, this is possibly the hardest one to pick with the winner having the chance to stay in touch with the finals.



As was the case in Division 3, we get an early season blockbuster to highlight Division 4 action this week with a top of the table clash as the headline act.

The competition’s two undefeated teams will battle at Overport Park as the Frankston Dolphins play host to Lyndhurst.

The best offensive team will take on possibly the best defensive team this week, with both sides coming off hard fought grinding victories in Round Three.

Lyndhurst were a top four side when the season came to a halt last year, but for the Dolphins this has been a terrific start after a 6-6 run in 2021.

They can further demonstrate their significant improvement if they can land another result here.

Hallam’s home clash with the Moorabbin Kangaroos is also an intriguing one, with the winner to improve their record to 3-1.

Both sides lost their first game of the season last week, and both of them by 11 points in low scoring games.

The challenge for a good side is how they bounce back, and this is very much an eight-point game.

Hallam’s Jack Sharlassian kicked four of his team’s six goals last week so they’ll need to find more avenues in order to kick a winning score against the gritty Kangaroos.

Lyndale and Cerberus will get the chance to record their opening victories of the season when they face each other tomorrow.

Cerberus were a touch more competitive last week after a tricky first fortnight, but after a strong 2021 campaign they are in urgent need of four points to kick start them here.

Lyndale’s base level has been stronger, and they’ll fancy their chances at home.

Hampton and the Doveton Eagles will also hold an eight-point game with the winner to level their season off at 2-2, with the loser facing a tricky road back from 1-3.

It is an extremely even match up in all three sections of the ground and it’s hard to see this match blowing out either way.

It might be a case where 12 goals will win it, and it’ll be down to who takes their chances.

Meanwhile Dandenong will play host to South Mornington at Greaves Reserve, with the home side a chance to push as high as third on the table and South Mornington a chance to get their season to 2-2.

South Mornington have been better than the ladder would suggest having run the Frankston Dolphins all the way to the line last week in a narrow defeat.

It is another example of a match up that will tell us plenty about where all teams sit in the scheme of things this year.

League Partners