Gippsland League Round 3 Preview
Round three will see neighbours Morwell and Moe do battle in the Gippsland League's first Good Friday match.
"I think it's exciting to be part of it. We have been lucky, we've had the opportunity to play on Anzac Day, Queen's Birthday and now Good Friday," said Morwell coach Harmit Singh.
Unbeaten since its first premiership in 17 years, last year, the Tigers will go into the match as a firm favourite. However Singh said his side which disposed of Wonthaggi in round one and Drouin by a massive 187-points in round two, can still improve.
"Just with our ball movement and transition. Our running patterns can get better but it's only round two, all sides will improve from week to week, we just have some things we need to tidy up," said Singh whose plays at home for the third consecutive week.
"They (Moe) have got some really good people involved and I'm sure it will be a good contest. It will be a really good test for us this week," said Singh.
It's opponent Moe is the competition's big improver and after a disappointing appearance against Morwell on Anzac Day last year, the Lions are looking forward to playing in the Good Friday feature which is being trialed for two years.
"We are looking forward to it. They are the reigning premier, we know they are the favourite and we know we will be tested," said Moe President Manny Gelagotis.
"I was pleased with the way we played last weekend, I saw some really really quality signs," he said.
Moe coach Adrian Burgiel said the Good Friday clash will be a good test for his team which bounced back from a 10-goal loss to his former team Maffra in round one, to beat Warragul by 135-points in round two.
"Hopefully we can get a big crowd and with a bit of luck we can perform and put on a good show,"
"I just want to be very competitive, I don't want to be blown out of the water. If we can stick with them then who knows? Hopefully we can win," said Burgiel who conceded the match will be a huge challenge for his new team.
"Morwell is a very good side. They'll be hard to beat especially at home".
Former Trafalgar coach and premiership player Chris Kyriacou will make his highly anticipated debut for the Lions.
"He is a very experienced guy. He will definitely give us some strength down back," said Burgiel who is among a string of former AFL players who have joined the coaching panel at Moe. The Lions are also boasting one of the AFL's biggest names as its number one ticket holder.
"Kevin Sheedy is a good guy. Obviously he has a wealth of experience and he is a person who is passionate about helping us to succeed," said Gelagotis.
Dual Brownlow Medallist and former Carlton star Greg Williams is also playing an advisory role at the Lions.
"We are just trying to make the club a bit more professional and just put a few systems in place and it's looking good," said Williams.
"Every game, every training session that goes by we are going to improve in two or three years we hope to be a really strong club," said Gelagotis.
It has a new coach in five time Maffra premiership player Adrian Burgiel, a long list of new recruits and now it’s working to get the community on board too.
"We are engaging more with the business community and other sporting clubs and community groups to make them feel part of the membership base," said Gelagotis.
The match between Morwell and Moe is the only clash being played over the Easter long weekend with the remaining four matches scheduled for the ANZAC Day long weekend.
The first cab off the rank is Leongatha which is hosting Maffra at the later time of three pm on ANZAC Day. The Parrots will be vying for their first win of 2014 when they host the Eagles for the 50th time. Leongatha will take plenty of confidence into the match, having won its past two matches at home against Maffra. The Eagles though will be eager to bounce back from a disappointing loss to Bairnsdale. However Maffra shouldn’t be too concerned; the last time it won just one of their first three games was in 2006, a year which saw the Eagles go on to win the next 14 straight on their way to a premiership.
The second ANZAC day match is being played later again at 4:30pm between Warragul and Bairnsdale. The visitor will be looking to continue its unbeaten start to 2014, which has seen it post wins against Leongatha and Maffra. The Redlegs have won five of their past six encounters with Warragul.
Traralgon will return home to take on Drouin which also remains without a win after two rounds. The Hawks will be keen to bounce back from its round two loss to the reigning premier, however visits to Traralgon haven’t proved successful for the Hawks, who have won there just once since rejoining the competition in 2005. While the last time these sides met in round 16 last year, Traralgon posted its biggest ever win over Drouin (129 points).
In the final match of the split round three, Sale will host Wonthaggi. The Magpies have had the upper hand over the Power in recent years however three of their past four encounters could well have gone the other way. Fresh from a big win at home against Traralgon, Wonthaggi will be looking to pick up where it left off. However last year’s runner up will be tough to beat, having won 34 of its last 36 matches.
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