GDFL Finals Preview – Finals begin without Centrals

August 20, 2021 BY

Bannockburn coach Peter Riccardi will be hoping to go back to back with Tigers this finals series. Photo Marcel Berens.

The long and drawn-out wait for the GDFNL finals will start this weekend but the pandemic has put a premature end to one team’s finals campaign.

Melbourne’s lockdown has prevented Werribee Centrals from continuing the season, meaning East Geelong will advance to the first Semi-Final.

All eyes are now back on the football, where reigning premiers Bannockburn will take on Bell Post Hill in this week’s Qualifying Final.

The Panthers confirmed their status as a serious finals contender back in round six when the two teams last met and the 47-point victory will give them plenty of confidence going into Saturday’s clash.

Bannockburn has been below their best in recent outings, but a final series could be the tonic needed to rise to former glories.

Peter Riccardi has announced his intention to finish up as the senior coach with the Tigers and this may also give his players that little extra incentive to finish 2021 on a high note.

There is no shortage of talent at Bannockburn, with Daniel Measures, Matt James and Jai Robertson leading the midfield and the versatile Jack Brauman and Keiran Fulton consistently finishing off their good work.

The Tigers also boast the most frugal defence in the competition with the underrated pair Hayden Spiller and Daniel Ladgrove standing up each week to turn back opposition attacks.

The Panthers will be relying on the vast experience within their group, with multiple premiership players spread right across the ground.

Their brilliant defensive unit led by Attila Sulics, Brad McNamara and Ben Muir make it tough for any opponent to penetrate.

Dylan Witney is in superb form in the middle of the ground and with Jayden Ettridge and Nick Costello scoring regularly, the attacking weapons are there.

A new player to the Bell Post Hill team is their midfield dynamo Boe Collins and I believe he holds the key to the game. Another good return from him and the Panthers will get the first crack at the undefeated Inverleigh.

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