EFL Media’s Matt Fotia previews all the upcoming weekend’s action in Division 4.
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Glen Waverley Hawks (5th, 7-5, L W W ) v Silvan ( 9th, 3-9, L W L)
The Hawks have been good all year but still find themselves just outside the finals spots, whilst the Cats will be looking to build on their improved recent form which includes a massive win over local rivals Coldstream a fortnight ago.
Andrew Knight has been a major player in the Cats’ improved form. Knight has strung together three vote-winning performances kicking a goal in each game. Jarryd Dietzal has also been strong during this period. He kicked two against the top of the table Pioneers, but can easily play at either end of the ground.
The Cats may want to put some time into Ryan Goold who is building some serious form as the Hawks push for top four. The versatile mover was good against Kilsyth a fortnight ago, before improving again against Nunawading in a percentage booster for the Hawks last week.
Adam Amin is coming in off the back of an eight goal game against Nunawading and will be looking to add to his season tally (40) this weekend. A reliable kick and incredibly strong for his size, Amin is difficult to match up on.
Last time: Silvan 11.9.75 def GWH 6.8.44
Hawks big man Beau Parthendies stood up for his side, but they couldn’t match the Luke Beddome inspired Cats.
Donvale (2nd, 9-3 , W W W) v Nunawading (12th , 0-12, L L L)
It’s been a big week for Nunawading with the club getting a landmark win in the reserves last week.
This has been on the back of massive improvement throughout the season by the Lions almost halving their losing margin from last season. Donvale won’t go easy on them though and they need to keep up the pressure on the Pioneers at the top of the table.
Donvale boasts one of the most powerful forward lines in the competition, with the pairing of Nicholas Murphy (49 goals this season ) and Jake Purcell (43) dismantling opposition defences in recent times. In the last three weeks Murphy has picked up 12 majors, whilst Purcell has notched up 18 goals as the Magpies begin to loom dangerous.
Sam Coghlan has been key to the Magpies’ perfect last month, giving the dynamic duo of Murphy and Purcell silver service. It may be easier to stop the problem at its source, rather than keep those two quiet.
Nunawading will be looking to keep the upbeat vibe around the club going and Josh Delaney will be key to that. Delaney has fought hard for the Lions in recent weeks, along with Arlie Jackman. The pair of them have been two of the more consistent players for the Lions this past month.
Last time: Nunawading 3.3.21 def by Donvale 35.29.239
Murphy kicked nine, Purcell seven. Could be similar reading this time out.
Forest Hill (4th, 8-4, W W L) v Coldstream (3rd, 8-4, W L W )
Could be a key game in the shaping of the top four this season. Winner can keep pace with Donvale and the Pioneers. Loser could be in danger of falling out of the finals spots as Glen Waverley waits just below.
Coldstream has bolstered its squad this season, and its experienced players like Michael Cardamone (30 goals) and Leigh Odermatt (36 goals) who will need to stand up in this big clash. Both players have ample skill and game awareness, which they’ve used previously this season. The Cougars will need them to stand up once again.
Darcy Carrigan has been a good performer recently for Coldstream recently as well, and is a utility that can play at either end of the ground. Will be useful in the tight confides of Forest Hill Reserve.
If Coldstream needs Odermatt and Cardamone to come to the party, Forest Hill will need Matt Carnelley to shake off last week’s rare goalless performance against Donvale. With 46 majors this season Carnelley can often be the barometer for the Zebras.
Aaron Creak will hold fort at the other end of the ground, and is coming in off consistent strong performances. Will be massive against the stacked Coldstream forward line.
Last time: Coldstream 11.11.77 def Forest Hill 9.5.59
Odermatt and Cardamone both kicked two. Carnelley kept to just the single goal. Will be the blueprint again for the Cougars.
Kilsyth (6th, 6-5-1, W L D) v Whitehorse Pioneers (1st, 10-2, W L W)
Kilsyth finds itself two games out of the finals, but with Forest Hill and Coldstream clashing this weekend, a win against the Pioneers could see it close the gap.
Sean Currey produced a massive performance in last week’s nail-biting tie against Fairpark. He kicked seven majors to bring his season total to 23, and will look to give the Pioneers’ backs the run around. Matthew Jackson has been next best in front of the sticks with 21 majors for the Pinks Reserve residents.
Cameron Vanflorestein has been red-hot. Best on against Surrey Park, Glen Waverley Hawks and among the best again last week in the tie with Fairpark. Vanflorestein is key to Kilsyth’s spine and may have to be used in a defensive role on the tall timber of the Whitehorse forward line.
Andrew Padbury could be that role for Vanflorestein. The massive unit has kicked 49 goals this year, despite a quiet fortnight with just three goals (one v Silvan, two v Surrey Park). Could be set to erupt this weekend however.
Padbury’s success has been down to the Whitehorse midfield enjoying a similarly strong season. Maverick Gleed is an in-form centre-man for the Pioneers. Good performances against Surrey Park and Glen Waverley were precursors to his best on ground performance last week against Silvan.
Last time : Whitehorse Pioneers 14.12.96 def Kilsyth 11.11.77
Gleed amongst the best, Currey was dangerous with one goal in an all-round performance. The larger surface of Pinks could help Kilsyth.
Surrey Park (8th, 4-8, L W L ) v Fairpark (7th, 4-7-1, L L D)
Two sides who may mathematically be in the race, but who will have one eye on season 2018.
Every forward knows he is only as good as the delivery he receives. Luckily for the Surrey Park goal kickers, Ryan Kennedy has been on song. Three vote-grabbing games on the bounce will make him a key man for Fairpark this Saturday.
Kennedy’s service has helped Greame Johns go from strength to strength. It seems a few weeks ago Johns decided he was going to go rampant and no one has stood in his way.
Four goals in a best on ground performance against Kilsyth, four more goals against Whitehorse and another five majors against Coldstream. Johns has 36 goals this season, but that total is set to improve majorly, especially if he keeps this form going.
Fairpark will look to match Surrey’s midfield, and will be led by Benjamin Dadswell. Despite his side going through a lean trot, the tough on-baller continues to extract the ball well. If Fairpark can get its outside run going again, Dadswell will prove even more important.
The Lions have skilful operators at either end of the ground as well. Nathan Smith has license to roam wherever he pleases down back. If allowed to do what he wants, he can help set up countless Fairpark attacks.
Tanner Stanton will look to build on his steady form since coming back into the side last month. The skilful left-footer is dangerous around the goals, either kicking them or creating them.
Last time: Fairpark 10.9.69. def by Surrey Park 11.14.80
Johns only kicked the one major but found himself in the best. Maybe he was just warming up.
The opinions expressed in this article are purely subjective and remain those of the author.