By Matt Fotia
All is in readiness for tomorrows Interleague clash with the Bendigo Football Netball League, as the Outer East makes its debut in the Worksafe AFL Victoria Community Championships at the Queen Elizabeth Oval, one of the most prestigious grounds in Victoria, let alone the rural area.
The Outer East will be running with quite a small forward line, with Berwick spearhead Harrison Money leading the line alongside teammates Trent Thomas and Tim Gunn. Gunn kicked four goals in a best afield performance for the SEFNL in last seasons clash between the now teammates and is coming off a three goal game against Beaconsfield at the weekend.
Money has kicked 17 goals to date in 2019 to lead the Premier Division goal kicking and despite being a leading light for Berwick in recent years he will be making his first appearance in a Senior Interleague side and is relishing the opportunity to test himself.
“It’s massive (playing Interleague), it’s another challenge that I’m looking forward to, to test yourself against the best players from other leagues,” said the dynamic small forward on the GameFace Footy Show last night.
“It’s a big opportunity, it is another challenge, it has pretty much been a challenge all year with all the new obstacles to face and this will be another fun obstacle.”
Another playing making his debut in the Senior Interleague is Beaconsfield defender Ryan Bromley, who is joined by teammates Riley Verbi and Jack Griffiths as the only Eagles in the squad. Bromley was pleasantly surprised by his selection in the leagues first ever Interleague side.
“It was definitely a surprise selection, but all I can do is try my best out there and hopefully get a kick and do my best for the team.”
Bromley will be lining up in his familiar half back position, one he commands for the Eagles on a Saturday. The coaching staff will be hoping he can provide plenty of legs and attacking power.
“They (the coaches) want a lot of run, for me to try and get into offensive positions as much as possible, obviously I’ve got to be able to work back as well,”
“I pride myself on my offensive ability, I try and get back as much as possible, but my offensive is pretty alright,” joked the Beaconsfield left footer also on the GameFace production.
Bendigo will offer up stiff competition with plenty of talent through their side. Ex GWS and Melbourne listed player Patrick McKenna will lead a dangerous forward line.
The Gisborne talent was drafted straight out of country footy four years ago by the Giants after kicking multiple double figure bags. 2019 has seen a leaner goal return, but he still averages four goals a game whilst providing athleticism around the ground.
He will be joined by Lachlan Sharp who has kicked 250 goals from his last 37 games and Kaiden Antonowicz who won the 2018 league goal kicker award with 76 goals for South Bendigo.
Through the middle of the ground Bendigo will have a strong inside ball approach with leadership duo Jack Geary and Adam Baird driving that front. Geary is a four time Vic Country representative and is coming off a league best and fairest in 2018 after finishing second in 2017.
Geary will captain their side and no doubt lead from the front, whilst Vice Captain Baird will be looking to continue his representative football form. He was named the best on ground for the Vic Country in last years Country v Metro match and grabbed the same honour in the Bendigo leagues clash with the Hampden league in the 2018 community championships.
Co-captain and Olinda Ferny Creek experienced midfielder Marcus Hottes is looking forward to the challenge he and his fellow on ball brigade face.
“I’m super excited for Saturday, I love Interleague as a concept and I jump at the chance to play whenever I can, with guys I mightn’t ever get the chance to play with again,”
“From what I’m hearing their midfield is very strong, so I think it’s going to be really important (my inside midfield) role, we’ve got a really good midfield, well balanced,”
“They’ve got some guys that have played a lot of Vic Country football and have played together for a while, so we will definitely have our hands full, but I’ll back our side in every day of the week.”
You can catch all the action from the Queen Elizabeth Oval via : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3IRO-gKbr6M with the Senior Football starting at 2:15pm.