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Great Flinders Football League
& Great Flinders Netball Association

Great Flinders Round 1 Preview

‘Gather Round’ everyone as football and netball kicks off in the Great Flinders Football League for 2023. After picking up several key players in the off-season, Lock will have the bye this week.

Elliston Districts vs Cummins Ramblers

Grand Finalists, Elliston Districts will line-up with a significantly different side this year with several key position players departing the side, balanced out by some handy inclusions such as Charlie Gibson and Riley Carter whilst Harvey Fleming and Henry Guerin should be available for the entire season.

In season 2022, Ramblers consistently put up one of the youngest sides in the competition and were more than competitive against quality opposition despite missing finals. The Magpies will once again put up a younger side balanced with some senior heads as they aim for natural progression from their players under 25.

The Roosters will rely on their leg speed to create avenues to goal, with Tom Gibson and Kody Rosalia set to create plenty of headaches for opposition defenders throughout the season. New Rambler recruit, Seth Dobbins could be a good matchup for either of these quick forwards with his athleticism and ability to intercept the ball a strength of his.

The midfield battle will be vitally important in this game with 2021 Mail Medallist Matt Williams up against 2022 runner-up Will Haarsma. The wet and windy conditions won't affect either of these two as they thrive on the contested ball.

The versatile Isaac Hall looks like he could have a breakout season in 2023 for the Magpies, showing consistent improvement over recent years whilst the Roosters will welcome back Cooper Van Doorn after missing through injury last year.

The Roosters will look to play an exciting quick brand of football whilst Ramblers will focus on being competitive around the ball along with structured zones.

The first game of the year is always a scrappy affair and with rain expected, along with 30-40km/h winds, whoever wins the contested ball in the midfield is likely to win this match.

Tumby Bay vs Cummins Kapinnie

Tumby Bay were unlucky to not be playing in a preliminary final in 2022, narrowly going down to Lock in one of the final kicks of the game. The progress of their younger players in Oz Richardson, Hudson Franks, Ezra Foster and Thomas Allen throughout the season was fantastic to see and no doubt they will continue to improve this season.

Unfortunately for Cougars, there has been a significant exodus of players after a successful number of years (excluding 2022). The losses of Johann Wagner, Brodie Falciani, Lochie Paech, Flynn Paech, Seth Dobbins and Damon Scott will test the depth of the Cougars side this year under the watchful eyes of player-coach Thomas Phelps.

Tyson Whitelaw looks to impress in his second year with the Blues, whilst Jagga Cross took his game to the next level in 2022 and should improve even further this year. 2022 Mortlock player Lachie Gale’s move from Eyre United to Tumby Bay only increases their already talented midfield stocks.

Brodie Laube had an excellent season in 2022, winning Cougars B&F and using his supreme ball skills to set up his teammates moving forward. Cougars have always had quality in their junior sides and will call upon many of them throughout the year to play senior football, which will help the side in the long term.

Both defences are led by intercepting defenders Joe Walker and Dylan Wandner, both of whom have the ability to turn defence into offence in the blink of an eye.

With an excellent mixture of youth and experience, Tumby Bay will be one of the teams to watch in 2022.

United Yeelanna vs Eyre United

2022 was once again the year of the Eagle as United Yeelanna claimed their 8th flag in 10 years, cementing them as one of the most successful sides in country football in recent times. Despite losing some key players in Adam Murnane and Toby Lynch, the ins of youngsters Beau Sampson and Dane Habner will balance out the side which will be led by Stephen Crettenden as captain, and Bryce Breed as vice-captain.

Eyre United have lost several key players but welcome back hometown boy Max Baldissera after spending some time interstate. With their colt’s side being successful in the past few years, the Saints will play an exciting brand of football led by Association Colts Best and Fairest Will Turner and leading goal-kicker Ethan Pugsley.

Reece Francis will coach the Eagles again whilst Neville Stratford will take over the Saints side. The wet and windy weather expected by many may bring these sides closer together.

Stephen Conlan had an excellent year in the ruck for the Eagles in 2022 and should prove damaging around stoppages and behind the ball again this year.

It will be a tough day out for the Saints against the reigning premiers, but as usual, their endeavour will not be questioned.

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