From The Age
By Paul Sakkal & Daniel Cherny
The AFL is set to announce a marked increase in the amount of VFL curtain-raisers to be held before AFL matches in season 2019.
It's understood while curtain-raisers will definitely be played at Marvel Stadium, negotiations are still underway for curtain-raisers to also be played at the MCG.
The move represents a significant increase on the handful of curtain-raisers held in 2018, three of which took place at GMHBA Stadium in Geelong.
Retired Borough Champs Form 2019 Assistant Coaching Trio
They were each champions for Port Melbourne on the field, and now three of the club’s greatest ever will be hoping to make an impact together off the field.
Sam Dwyer, Shane Valenti and Robin Nahas have been confirmed by Head Coach Gary Ayres as the three-pronged assistant coaching team to aid Ayres in working with the 2019 crop of Borough players.
Reported by LUCIE BERTOLDO
"I'm in good spirits. One door closes and another one opens."
The Kangaroos signed the former Hawk as a development coach and player for the club's VFL team.
Hawthorn announced last Monday that Whitecross and VFL teammate Kieran Lovell would not be offered contracts for next season.
"Brendan will play an instrumental role in helping to develop our younger players," Kangaroos football manager Cameron Joyce said.
"He's always had great versatility, playing forward, back or through the midfield, which will be beneficial.
"He knows what it takes to be successful and work through adversity and will set a great example for our younger players coming through.
We can defy odds in Victorian Football League quest once more | From the Press Box with Melanie Whelan
From the Ballarat Courier
Reported by Melanie Whelan
Full article - Ballarat Courier
BELIEF: Roosters captain Shaune Moloney reflects on the 2008 VFL premiership cup. The club went on to win the next two in an historic three-peat.
THIS was a huge risk but on this night, almost 10 years ago, players were ready. They believed.
North Ballarat Roosters defied the odds and claimed the club’s first Victorian Football League premiership.
This was a country football team taking on the state’s best, cohesively working in players from a partial AFL alliance with North Melbourne and proving what many had thought was unlikely.
A decade on, Ballarat needs to decide, as a football community and a city, whether it can take the risk to believe again.
The VFL grand final is on Sunday afternoon. This is the first season in 22 years Ballarat has not been prepared to put a team out on the park to watch what might be possible for our region’s most promising players.
We can pretend like it does not greatly matter – we’ve got quality leagues and a good senior Ballarat Football League flag showdown set for Saturday.
But it is not really a challenge anymore. We are comfortable and our best players are pretty comfortable.
There is still a VFL flavour about the BFL but this influence on the grassroots game will fade.
The Roosters offered a clear pathway for players in western Victoria and for other country footballers, who preferred the regional lifestyle and what Ballarat had to offer. This was particularly in being a place to study at university and play state league football without having to be based in Melbourne.
This was the pathway that has produced AFL talent like Hawthorn triple premiership midfielder Isaac Smith who, 10 years ago, was happily on his way to winning a flag with Redan in a quality Ballarat Football League final.
Redan encouraged Smith to take a leap of faith and try VFL about midway through the next season.
Or, like Sydney Swan Dean Towers, a Colac boy who was studying teaching at University of Ballarat. Towers won the Fothergill-Round Medal as VFL’s best under-23 player in 2012, then drafted a month later.
The pathway is about more than producing draftees.
Grand final night, a Friday in 2008, the Roosters were in uncharted territory.
They had been in VFL grand finals before – this was their third – but this was something different. This night was the first VFL grand final under lights, the first at the Docklands stadium, the first in a double-header with TAC Cup under-18s and it turned out to be the first in a premiership trilogy.