Speed is key for Landmark revenge
South West Football League players are out for revenge against the reigning champions the Peel Football-Netball League in the first Landmark Championships game at Bendigo Bank Stadium tomorrow.
Just 12 months ago, South West lost to Peel by 15 points in the corresponding fixture at Hands Oval, but it was a 31-point loss in the grand final which still stings.
Peel will be without goalkicker Joel Houghton, who will this year play for the South West after joining the Collie Eagles, while last year’s grand final man-of-the-match Brendon Jones will also wear the green and gold next month in the carnival part of the championships.
A number of young stars will make their Landmark Championships debut this weekend, with Kyle Bassett, Aiden Clarke, Tyson Wood, Paul Rinder and Patrick Farrant all getting the nod after solid starts to the SWFL season.
A number of players who will compete at the carnival next month are unavailable for this weekend’s game, including Jones, Eaton Boomers’ Chris Atthowe and Collie Eagles’ Travis Cleggett.
Coach Jamie Nani said he was pleased with the blend of youth and experience he had assembled for the game.
“They (the young guys) are the ones you hope will be around for a while and play for a number of years,” he said.
Nani confirmed Eaton Boomers defender Will Oelsnik would captain the team again, with South Bunbury’s Jon Meadmore to be his deputy.
“It is hard to go past Will,” Nani said.
“He puts his hand up every year to play. He just loves it.”
The South West team has a number of speedsters in the team, including Clarke, Brad Blake, Shane Cristaldi, Michael and Josh Battaglia as well as Blake Piggott.
“We hope to run them off their feet” he said.
“There is a bit of speed there which will be required.”
One player Nani said his side would have to watch was former Peel Thunder forward Brad Holmes.
Holmes has starred for South Mandurah so far this season, kicking 49 goals in 10 matches.
“Michael Russell may get the first crack at Holmes,” Nani said.
“Travis Justins is another who could play on him. He has been doing a great job for us (Bunbury) this season and is never beaten.”
Nani said much of the responsibility for limiting Holmes would rest on his midfield.
“Our mids need to make sure they get it going our way,” he said.
Bouncedown is 8pm.
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