Inverleigh the team to beat ahead of GDFL opening round
INVERLEIGH Football Club are by far the favourites to finish off what they started in 2021 and take home the Geelong and District Football League (GDFL) premiership in 2022, but any of the 12 clubs are more than capable of raising some eyebrows after Round One this weekend.
The Hawks finished 2021’s campaign unbeaten through 12 matches.
Even the next best side Bannockburn, who finished with nine wins under their belt last season, were a class below Inverleigh.
However, the past is in the past for Inverleigh head coach Adam Donohue and his side, who will alongside 11 other clubs reset to a zero-win, zero-loss record.
“We’ll definitely be taking the season week by week,” Donohue said.
“I hear different interviews and podcasts saying Inverleigh are the team to beat, but I think out of all but two games last season we had our challenges.
“We weren’t going out and smashing clubs each week for four quarters, so there’s still things we need to work on, but our solid midfield will be the key to complementing the style of football we want to play.”
Bannockburn, led by its co-coach and league best and fairest winner Jack Brauman, will look to keep pace with Inverleigh.
Meanwhile, Bell Post Hill will be keen to get back to the premiership-calibre play the suburb is so accustomed to.
Werribee Centrals and East Geelong were eligible for finals in 2021 before all football seasons were cut short, so a return to finals will be at the forefront of the two clubs’ minds.
Geelong West, Thomson and North Geelong are shoe-ins to make a run at the top five, but even some of the lower seeded clubs remain optimistic of what 2022 will bring.
The Belmont Lions finished 2021 with four wins and eight losses, but senior coach Nathan Bisset sees promising signs for the club’s senior side after gallant performances against the league’s frontrunners last season.
“One of the things that we will always strive for is finals,” Bisset said.
“We have a little unfinished business as we made some good in-roads last season against some really good sides who had put Belmont to the sword the last few years, so we’re really looking forward to continue improving this season.”
Winchelsea, Corio and Anakie took out the bottom three in 2021, but with a new season on the horizon a Round One triumph might be enough to take these teams in the right direction.