Blues keep it basic

May 3, 2024 4:00 pm in by
Winchelsea coach Brendan Forssman.

Winchelsea coach Brendan Forssman says looking after the ball will be critical if his team is to return from a trip to Galvin Park to play Werribee Centrals with its second win of the season.

The Blues broke through for their first victory of 2024 after losing their opening three matches by an average of ten points.

Forssman says there is no secret to the adjustment Winchelsea made to its gameplan, which helped it defeat Corio by 27 points last week.

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“We’ve gone to a man-on-man-type scenario with kick-ins and that type of stuff rather than zones,” he said.

“We’ve probably done that since half-time of the North Geelong, so for the last six quarters, just to make sure that guys are accountable when we do have the footy and when we don’t have it.

“And it stands out if you’re not doing the right thing defensively. If one link in the chain breaks down, it opens up for the opposition.

“We’ve been better in that respect.”

Winchelsea has named Josh Freeman and Brayden O’Hanlon, while former Newcomb, Belmont Lions and Thomson player Shane O’Connell will make his Blues debut.

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Gun midfielder Cassidy Parish, who lasted less than a quarter before sitting out the rest of the match with hamstring awareness, has been selected.

However, the Blues couldn’t consider Jordan Huff, who is facing 2-3 weeks on the sidelines with a hamstring injury, and Caleb Brown (shoulder).

Leigh Ellis (knee) and Riley Berg, who remains in the concussion protocol, are at least another week away from returning.

The Centurions, who are yet to play at home this season due to upgrade works at Galvin Park, will see playing coach Rhyce Prismall in action for the first time this year.

He’s missed the first month with a finger injury.

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However, Centrals will likely be without experienced midfielder Matt Miller for the remainder of the season.

He suffered three fractures to his jaw in an incident in the win over Bell Post Hill that resulted in a six-week suspension for Panther Boe Collins.


Inverleigh has brought Ryan Robertson straight into its team after he completed a four-match suspension for an incident in last year’s grand final against Thomson as the Hawks prepare to host the Tigers at Inverleigh Reserve.

Robertson was banned following an incident with Thomson star Jahd Anderson, who is yet to play this season, in the opening moments of the decider.

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He is one of four inclusions for the Hawks, with Kieran McNally returning after a fortnight on the sidelines, Curtis Young recalled from the reserves, and Maffra recruit Bailey Carubia to make his debut.

The Tigers welcome back captain Travis McGuire, with Caleb Eden promoted from the reserves and Max Deller to make his debut.

A favourite son at Bell Post Hill will play his first senior game in nearly five years in the clash with Geelong West at Myers Reserve.

Justin Rodriguez is among seven changes for the injury-impacted Panthers.

Rodriguez, who missed all of the 2022 season while battling bowel cancer, hasn’t played a senior game since Round 17, 2019.

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Premiership great Adrian Fantella is back, along with talented goalkicker Jayden Ettridge.

Henry Verschuren, who played reserves at South Barwon a fortnight ago, has been rushed into the Panthers line-up.

Recruit Dylan Godwin is facing six weeks on the sideline with a broken wrist.

Captain Jack Yates, Ben Muir, Zane Jones, Daniel Banister, Tyran Lynch, and the suspended Boe Collins also go out of the team that lost to Werribee Centrals last week.

After seven changes last week, the Giants have made five for the meeting with Bell Post Hill.

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Matt Sondergeld (groin), Charles Wild (hip), and Billy Higgins (ankle) will be missing, and Darby Davidson and Lachie Turner have been dropped.

Bannockburn was also forced into mass changes before meeting with North Geelong at Keith Barclay Oval.

Ryan Perkins (arm), Leigh Elzinga (concussion), Ayden Osborne (corky), James Hose (Geelong Falcons) and Jack Henderson (unavailable) are out of the team that defeated Inverleigh on Anzac Day.

They will return at some stage. However, Jai Robinson won’t, with the Tigers granting him the clearance he requested to GFNL club Geelong West late in the pre-season.

Mitiamo recruit Doug Thomas will make his Bannockburn debut alongside Jack Thompson and Zac Justin. Brodie Harding and Callum Elliott were also promoted from the reserves, and Joel Devlin will return from the under-18s.

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As of writing, the Magpies had yet to lodge a team for coach Peter Riccardi’s first meeting with the club he guided to two premierships as a coach and played with at junior and senior levels.

Reigning best-and-fairest Harry Thompson and playing co-coach Andy Walsgott are among five inclusions for the Belmont Lions as they chase five consecutive wins for the first time since Round 18, 2015.

However, among the outs are Ben McPherson (ankle) and Matt Ludbrook (groin) for the meeting with the much-improved Anakie at Winter Reserve.

The Roos, at this stage, have named an unchanged team to the one that handed Geelong West a 67-point hiding last week.

Leopold recruit Jack Dickson will make his return for East Geelong as the Eagles also welcome back Billy Andrew for the meeting with Corio at Richmond Crescent.

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They replace Tim Lee (unavailable) and Wally Gemmill (omitted)

The Devils have Logan Dixon back and have promoted Mitch White from the reserves for the first time this year.

Round 4 debutant Jalen Bigham has a broken collarbone, while B.J. O’Toole is unavailable.

X: @krockfootball