Modewarre vs. Barwon Heads @ Community Bank Oval, Saturday 2.10pm
2018 grand finalists Modewarre and Barwon Heads will renew acquaintances to open the new season. The Warriors will unfurl their first BFL premiership flag prior to the match. Both teams will have a different look to those that ran onto Drysdale’s Mortimer Oval in September. Modewarre has farewelled a handful of premiership stars, including veteran forward Luke Forbes (Thomson), hard-nosed defender Daniel Sturzaker (Portland) and captain Jacob Clark. However, the Warriors hold high hopes for recruits Patrick Bourke (Terang), Ollie Butler (Birregurra), Craig Evans (Wangaratta), George Swarbrick (Newtown & Chilwell), and Hasker Dawborn (East Point). The Seagulls have also been active in the off-season. Koroit’s Tim McIntyre headlines a range of additions that also include Tim Chapman (Diamond Creek), Brad Harvey (Wandin), Ryan Harvey (Lilydale), Tim McIntyre (Koroit), Mick Salmon (Simpson), Ben Stephens (Heathmont), and Chris Varsamakis (Quambatook). Both clubs have also made changes to their coaching structures. Seamus Orr has joined John Meesen as co-coach of Modewarre, with Warriors great Josh Finch stepping down. At Barwon Heads, former Lara and St Mary’s mentor Troy Mitchell will help guide the Seagulls alongside Mitch Herbison after Bobby Wallace’s decision to pull the pin.
Previous meeting: Grand Final, 2018: Modewarre 14.9. (93) def. Barwon Heads 5.16 (46) @ MortimerOval – Drysdale
Prediction: Barwon Heads by 15 points
Anglesea vs. Portarlington @ Alcoa Oval, Saturday 2.10pm
ANGLESEA will be keen to build on last year’s return to the finals in 2019. The Roos had their season ended by eventual premier Modewarre in last year’s preliminary final and have farewelled the likes of midfielder Matt O’Dwyer, forward James Edmonds and star swingman Dale Carson. Carson’s brother Paul has vacated the coaching role for a position with GFL powerhouse St Joseph’s. He’s been replaced by Paul Nigro, whose first major off-season acquisition was veteran former Bell Park big man Zane Vail. Anglesea has also added Joel Donaldson (Northcote Park) and Tom Steven (Lorne). Portarlington has added former St Joseph’s and Queenscliff premiership star Daniel Measures and talented youngster Ross Celano from Gisborne. However, the Demons have farewelled Nick O’Neill (Woorinen) and Kym Jones (retired), while the Daniele brothers, Chris and Nick, are having the year off.
Previous meeting: Round 11, 2018: Anglesea 22.19 (151) def. Portarlington 5.6 (36)
Prediction: Anglesea by 41 points
Queenscliff vs. Drysdale @ Queenscliff Recreation Reserve, Saturday 2.10pm
DRYSDALE will unveil a host of high-quality recruits when it travels across to Queenscliff to open the 2019 season. The Hawks, who have replaced twotime premiership coach Wade Chapman with former captain Daniel Jull and club great Luke Matthews, have been one of the BFL’s most active teams in the off-season. As well as welcoming back new skipper Mitch McGuire from Leopold and Jarrod Love from Bell Park, Drysdale has also added former Essendon speedster Lauchie Dalgleish, Leopold premiership player Jesse Lothian and Love’s fellow former Dragons Jarrod Garth and Chris Lynch. Queenscliff’s solid connection with GFL club St Mary’s has continued, with ex-Saints Alex Snowdon, A.J Davie and Matt Craig joining the Coutas. There are also high hopes for Jack Exell (Kyneton), Mitch Donnelly (North Launceston) and Brayden Anwyl (Brothers Rockhampton).
Previous meeting: Round 12, 2018: Queenscliff 10.12 (72) def. Drysdale 10.10 (70) @ Mortimer Oval
Prediction: Drysdale by 9 points
Ocean Grove vs. Newcomb @ Ray Menzies Oval, Saturday 5.10pm
ROOKIE Ocean Grove coach Jordy Jones will look to make a winning start to his coaching career when the Grubbers host Newcomb at Ray Menzies Oval. Jones, who last played for Ocean Grove as a 17-yearold in the 2007 grand final loss to the Power, returns home having played two games for West Coast at AFL level, as well as representing West Perth, Werribee and Williamstown in state league competitions. Among the arrivals at the Grubbers are Kurt Cole (Burleigh), Cory Connor (Sunshine), Lachie Meadows (Olinda Ferny Creek), Joey Perkovic (Shepparton East), Steve Presani (Colac), Jake Ward (Kyneton), and Jake Wilkie (Ballan). However, Ocean Grove has farewelled quality trio Andrew Jarvis, Jahd Anderson and Matt Caldow to South Barwon. Newcomb has been active in the offseason, as coach Rory Nicol looks to lift his team out of the bottom two. James Hussey (North Warrnambool) and Logan Wagener (Leopold) are among some handy additions.
Previous meeting: Round 10, 2018: Ocean Grove 15.18 (108) def. Newcomb 3.11 (29) @ Newcomb Sand & Soil Oval
Prediction: Ocean Grove by 28 points
Torquay vs. Geelong Amateur @ McCartney Oval, Saturday 6.30pm
TORQUAY and Geelong Amateur enter the 2019 season as two of the great unknowns of the competition. Both the Tigers and Ammos have flown under the radar this pre-season, with neither making headlines with their signings. Dom Gleeson will enter his fifth season in charge at McCartney Oval and looking to return to finals after falling to seventh in 2018 after winning the premiership the previous year. Paul Burchell returns after a stint with GFL club St Albans and some time with Geelong’s VFL team. The Tigers have also added Josh Chapman (Frankston Bombers), Callum Currie (Casterton Sandford), Nick Garner (Ballarat) and Liam McGlashan (Red Cliffs). Former Geelong speedster Kane Tenace has taken over from Rowan McSparron and Jarrod Young as coach of Geelong Amateur. He’s most recently been at St Mary’s in the GFL, and has lured Saints trio Guy Hardiman, Sam Hosking and Patrick Killen to KFC Oval.
Previous meeting: Round 13, 2018: Geelong Amateur 15.8 (98) def. Torquay 12.13 (85) @ Queen’s Park
Prediction: Torquay by 11 points