VFL: Roosters claw closer to finals

From the Ballarat Courier
Reported by Melanie Whelan
Full article - Click here

NORTH BALLARAT 1.0 6.4 8.5 12.9 (81)
GEELONG 5.4 5.5 7.7 9.10 (64)

THERE is another twist in North Ballarat Roosters’ finals bid.

Selkirk Roosters coach Gerard FitzGerald had calculated most of this season that 10 wins would be enough to make Victorian Football League finals.

Evenness in the competition has prevailed, but it seems the Roosters’ 10th win, a 17-point victory against Geelong, has may offer up that coveted top-eight spot.

The Cats are two games behind the now fifth-ranked Roosters with two rounds to play.

And what a two games the Roosters have ahead in third-ranked Williamstown and ladder leader Port Melbourne - both long-time nemeses.

“This game is ours. Finals are ours,” were FitzGerald’s parting words to fire up his players at the final break.

Gary Ayres: VFL's stand-alone clubs standing tall

From The Age
Reported by Brent Diamond
Full article Click here

Port Melbourne coach Gary Ayres has lauded the VFL's stand-alone clubs for their competitiveness this season against AFL-listed talent, as the Borough surge towards another minor premiership.

Two games ahead of the rest of the pack, the Borough, with a revamped list this season, appear set to challenge for its third grand final appearance in four years.

The past three flags – Port Melbourne (2011), Geelong (2012) and Box Hill Hawks (2013) – have been won by three different models: stand-alone VFL club; stand-alone AFL club; AFL-aligned club.

Perhaps it is proof the modernised VFL, formerly the VFA, can work despite the inclusion of five AFL stand-alone clubs, with St Kilda to increase it to six by 2016.

VFL Round 19

Geelong vs Collingwood at Simonds Stadium 11am
(TAC Cup Geelong Falcons vs Oakleigh Chargers after VFL Match at 2pm)
Essendon vs Richmond at Highgate Rec Reserve,Craigieburn 1pm
(AFL International Cup India vs Pakistan after VFL Match at 4pm)
Werribee vs Sandringham at Avalon Airport Oval,Werribee 1:10pm(ABC1TV)
(Development League match starts at 4pm)
Northern Blues vs Port Melbourne at Preston 2pm
(Development League match starts at 11am)
Box Hill Hawks vs Bendigo at Box Hill 2pm(3WBC)
(TAC Cup Eastern Ranges vs Murray Bushrangers starts at 11am)
North Ballarat vs Williamstown at Eureka Stadium 2pm
(AFL International Cup China vs Finland starts at 11:10am)

Footscray vs Casey Scorpions at Highgate Rec Reserve,Craigieburn 11am(Casey Radio)
(Development League Williamstown vs Casey Scorpions at 2pm)
Coburg vs Frankston at Piranha Park,Coburg 2pm(VFL Radio)
(Development League match starts at 11am)

Development League Bye: Box Hill Hawks

VFL Round 18

Collingwood vs Essendon at Victoria Park 1:10pm(ABC1TV)
Port Melbourne vs Casey Scorpions at North Port Oval 2pm(Casey Radio)
(Development League match starts at 11am)
Sandringham vs Coburg at Trevor Barker Oval,Sandringham 2pm
(Development League match starts at 11am)
Bendigo vs Richmond at Queen Elizabeth Oval,Bendigo 6:30pm

Werribee vs Footscray at Avalon Airport Oval,Werribee 1pm
North Ballarat vs Geelong at Eureka Stadium 2pm
Williamstown vs Northern Blues at Burbank Oval,Williamstown 2pm(VFL Radio)
(Development League match starts at 11am)
Frankston vs Box Hill Hawks at Frankston Park 2pm(3WBC*)
(Development League match starts at 11am)

Development League Bye: Werribee

*3WBC Coverage yet to be determined due to Frankston Redevelopment

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Coburg hoping for strong finish to the season in VFL as it begins to look towards next year

From the Moreland Leader
Reported by Chris Cavanagh
Full article - Click here

COBURG has its sights set on a strong finish to the Victorian Football League season as it looks to create a springboard into its second pre-season as a stand-alone side under coach Peter German.

The Lions still have just three wins to their name but see the last month of the season as a prime opportunity to add to their tally of victories.

A home match against North Ballarat kicks off the run home this Sunday ­before the Lions round out the season with clashes against Sandringham, Frankston and Casey.

“The last four games are all winnable,” Coburg ­general manager Craig Lees said.

“We’ve got four opportunities to play sides that won’t play in the finals and we could potentially finish the year off well. People are actually starting to look at Coburg now and see how they’re going and take ­notice of their ­results. Even our sponsors are really thrilled at how competitive we’ve been. But what we’ve got to do in the off-season is maintain the momentum that we’ve built but look to build on that next year.”

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Footscray coach says his side holds no fear as finals approach in VFL

From The Maribyrnong Leader
Reported by Luke D'Anello
Full article - Click here

FOOTSCRAY does not fear any side in the lead-up the VFL finals, but coach Chris Maple has declared the premiership race wide open.

The Bulldogs, in their first year as a stand-alone outfit, are a genuine premiership contender and sit in third spot on the ladder with a 10-4 record.

Footscray should rubberstamp a top-four berth in the run home, with games against Bendigo, Werribee, Casey and Richmond.

While the Dogs have benefited from a smooth run with injuries, Clay Smith (knee) and Mitch Wallis (foot) will miss the remainder of the season.

The pair notched 10 VFL appearances between them in 2014 and played vital roles in the Dogs’ success.

Smith had been particularly explosive, the hard-nosed midfielder named Footscray’s best player against Bendigo and Box Hill earlier in the season.

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VFL Round 17

Geelong vs Frankston at Simonds Stadium 12pm
Richmond vs Sandringham at Punt Road Oval 1pm
Collingwood vs Box Hill Hawks at Victoria Park at 1pm(3WBC)
Essendon vs Williamstown at Highgate Reserve,Craigieburn 1:10pm(ABC1TV)
Casey Scorpions vs Northern Blues at Casey Fields 2pm(Casey Radio)
(Development League match starts at 11am)

(Dev League)Williamstown vs Frankston at Trevor Barker Oval,Sandringham 10am
(Dev League)Sandringham vs Box Hill Hawks at Trevor Barker Oval,Sandringham 12:45pm
Footscray vs Bendigo at Whitten Oval 12pm
Werribee vs Port Melbourne at Avalon Airport Oval,Werribee 2pm(VFL Radio)
(Development League match starts at 11am)
Coburg vs North Ballarat at Piranha Park,Coburg 2pm

Development League Bye: Coburg

Coburg captain Nick Carnell set to chalk up milestone 150th VFL match

From www.localfooty.com.au
Reported by Chris Cavanagh
Full article - Click here

REWIND to August last year.

Coburg Football Club had just played its last game of the 2013 season in the VFL, marking the end of a 12-year alignment with AFL club Richmond.

The Lions were yet to name a coach for 2014, had some stability issues off the field and many in VFL circles raised the possibility they might not see out one season as a stand-alone club.

But amid the bleak forecast, the man who has been considered the heart and soul of the club over recent years — courageous captain Nick Carnell — was the first Coburg player to sign a new contract with the club and did so without hesitation.

Like every year there were offers to go elsewhere, but the ever-loyal Carnell never seriously considered leaving.

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Port Melbourne skipper John Baird on Saturday plays his 200th VFL game

From Leader Community Newspapers
Reported by Paul Amy
Full article - Click here

THE milestone comes this Saturday at Punt Rd, against Richmond.

That Port Melbourne captain John Baird played on the famous old ground before its reappearance on this year’s fixtures is an indication of his seasoned status in Victorian football.

It was for Hawthorn reserves against Melbourne in 1999. He can remember a carrot-topped left-footer topping up numbers for the Hawks: Cameron Ling, later to captain Geelong to a premiership.

Sixteen seasons later, Baird returns to Punt Rd this Saturday to play his 200th VFL match.

The right-footer says it “feels a very long time ago’’ that he wore No 42 for the Hawks in his first year out of school.

In fact, he’s been playing in the VFL since it expanded to take in the reserves in 2000. He’s seen a series of alignment changes and teams come and go (Murray Kangaroos, Tasmania and, soon, Bendigo).

John Baird flying high for Box Hill Hawks against Williamstown in 2001.
John Baird flying high for Box Hill Hawks against Williamstown in 2001.

Baird was with Hawthorn for two years. In 2001 he played at the Box Hill Hawks and won the Norm Goss Medal as best-afield in a premiership team containing Sam Mitchell and Chance Bateman.

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