Happy hunting ground

Headshot of Justin Fris
Justin FrisSouth Western Times
Augusta-Margaret River’s Jordan Veitch is caught by Jay Wright during last year’s pulsating elimination final.
Camera IconAugusta-Margaret River’s Jordan Veitch is caught by Jay Wright during last year’s pulsating elimination final. Credit: Jon Gellweiler

South Bunbury league coach David Obal is keen to blunt Augusta-Margaret River’s home-ground advantage on Saturday afternoon, when his Tigers head down to Gloucester Park and face the Hawks.

“It is a great opportunity to go down there and play Margs first up down there, so we can get it out of the way early when it will be relatively good weather conditions,” Obal said.

“We are looking at going down there and getting the job done and coming home with four points.”

Pending a clearance, the Hawks may unearth a massive recruit against Obal’s men – Ricky Cary – who played for several seasons at Swan Districts as a key forward.

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Both sides fought out an epic elimination final at Hands Oval last season, with the tenacious Hawks overturning a 36-point second-quarter deficit to come from the clouds and pinch the match by a point.

Obal said he took plenty of positives from the pre-season and was able to gain further insight into how his new recruits will fit into the Tigers game plan.

League selection for the Tigers will be formulated in the next 24 hours, as Obal will learn how many Tigers products have been selected to play across all grades for Swan Districts in the WAFL against South Fremantle at Steel Blue Oval.

“We haven’t been told what the Swans boys are doing at this stage,” Obal said. “They are looking like all possibly playing up there, so we are still up in the air.”

Another man keen to capitalise on squad depth is Hawks coach Matt Jamieson, who is eager for his men to hit the ground running against a fellow finals aspirant.

“We think we have a pretty good mix heading into this weekend,” he said. “We’ve always tried to build a versatile list who are capable of playing multiple roles and we think that will be no different come Saturday afternoon.

“South Bunbury are obviously going to be pretty stiff competition as they were last year.

“They pushed us in every game last year, so we will have to get off to a good start at home.”

The Hawks have been able to add further depth to Jamieson’s midfield rotations, which could be critical against the Tigers.

“If they rotate through half-forward, half-back, wing and the midfield – they are some things we have been building for a couple of years.

“Midfield depth is a big part of our system and hopefully we can show the other teams in the competition that we have got that right.”

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