Blues bolstered by AFL trio

A TRIO of former AFL players is set to bolster Rosedale’s stocks for round six of North Gippsland football this weekend against rival Heyfield.

Traralgon local and ex-St Kilda player Andrew McQualter will be joined by former Hawthorn premiership ruckman Max Bailey and Hawthorn 96-game player Tim Clarke. All are now coaching at Richmond Football Club.

The trio boasts 233 senior games between them, including McQualter’s 10 finals appearances and three grand finals.

Drafted from Gippsland Power at pick 17 in the first round of the 2004 National Draft, McQualter joined Richmond Football Club as a development coach post AFL career and plays in its VFL side.

When the idea was broached by his good mate, Rosedale assistant coach Brad Caldwell, for the pair to take to the field in the same team for the first time in years, McQualter was quick to agree.

Rosedale’s riches at the selection table will be sure to stretch this week’s opponent Heyfield.

The Kangaroos will not back down from the challenge, and shook things up against ladder leader Sale City last week.

Little has separated the sides at the final siren in past encounters, with this week’s meeting expected to be no different.

Gormandale v Churchill

IT was five weeks in the making and the rendition of the Gormandale song last Sunday afternoon was sung with gusto after its first up win.

Gaining momentum in past weeks the Tigers fell narrowly short against Rosedale, before holding arch rival Glengarry at bay in Sunday’s contest.

Despite claiming the points coach Luke Henderson will not allow his side any respite, with the reigning premier Churchill in his sights this weekend.

“It was good to get the win, the side has certainly settled in past weeks and the guys are understanding the game plan,” Henderson said.

“Our defensive pressure is beginning to become our trademark, in past weeks it has been that pressure combined with the contested footy which has been really good.

“We know what is required against Churchill, we know that we will have to take that pressure to another level and continue to improve.

“The last four weeks we have been good, bar one quarter against Yarram, we know that if we continue to apply the defensive pressure as we have that we will be in with a chance most weeks, we just have to apply it for a full four quarters.”

Highlighting the opening rounds as an adjustment for the playing personnel and coaches with eight new inclusions, Henderson is pleased with the Tigers’ progress.

“We are beginning to see some light at the end of the tunnel, three years ago we lost matches by big margins, but through recruitment and the development of many of the kids over the past two to three years we are beginning to see some rewards,” he said.

“Eighteen year-old Al Jenkin has been a big inclusion in the ruck, Kapun Morris across half back provides us with plenty of drive and it is these guys that are driving our older guys which is exciting.”

Churchill has begun to find its way after a slow start and will be tough competition for the ninth placed Tigers.

Churchill forward Tim Darby will be a tough matchup, sitting sixth on the goal kicking standings with 13 majors, six of which came last week.

Yarram v Glengarry

RETURNING home to face Glengarry following two successful outings on the road, Yarram has moved into second behind top-placed Sale City.

Both boast a win-loss ledger of 4-1, and hold a narrow percentage advantage over Heyfield, equal on 16 points in third.

It has been a big fortnight for the Demons, who claimed victory against Heyfield and Rosedale for the first time since entering the league.

The side on the rise will host a team which is yet to click in season 2015.

Glengarry sits at the tail end of the ladder standings with a win loss ledger of 0-5, and with Rosedale and Heyfield next on the agenda, there’s no respite for coach Robbie Cahill and his side.

A combination of factors including injuries and player turnover have not helped, with Glengarry facing a huge challenge to return to the lofty heights of its premiership year of 2013.

On current form Yarram appears on song to make it three from three at home.

TTU v Cowwarr

TRARALGON Tyers United’s match against Cowwarr is a must win for the fifth-placed Bombers to remain in contention with the competition’s front runners.

Hit hard by injury the Bombers will need to dig deep, and hold a Saints outfit at bay which was disappointing against the Wildcats in a one-sided affair.

While in touch with the competition’s leading six, the gap could quickly grow for the Saints with a few losses.

Woodside v Sale City

WOODSIDE comes into the contest against Sale City on the back of its second win, while the Dogs will look to bounce back from their first defeat.

It will be a tough assignment for the Wildcats, who are yet to record a win at home.