Community footy club and Western Magpies affiliate, the Woodsmen AFC will take on Kedron on Friday night at 730pm at Kedron for a place in the 2015 Grand Final.
After an undefeated 2014 Premiership campaign, the Woodsmen entered the 2015 Season with grand plans of back to back Premierships, especially with more fresh recruits such as a couple of Magpie favourite sons in dual senior premiership winning Gerard Moore, Reserves Premiership winning skipper, Luke Knight and former U/18's midfielder Sam Curtis.
However, as the season progressed it became clear that more and more recruits were needed as constant injuries to old bodies forced the Woodsmen to use over 60 players throughout the home & away season. First it was former B&F winner and goalkicking ace, Jay Baker going down with a season ending knee injury in the opening minutes of Round 5 before worse was to come in the same game when Luke Knight suffered a horrific career ending dislocated hip and broken casing in what appeared to be an innocuous contest in the defensive 50. A fe matches later on a cold night at Collingwood Park, the 2014 Nipperess Medal winner Reid Dobson also suffered a career ending knee injury to put a dampener on the 7-1 start to the season.
The Woodies soldiered on, but continued to lose troops with Matty McNaughton damaging his troublesome back and neck to end his season, while young gun recruit William Pierce (no, not THAT William Pierce) also went down with an ACL injury.
Despite the setbacks, the Woodies managed to finish the Home & Away season in 2nd place with a win/loss record of 13-3, including 2 close losses by less than a kick, earning the right to a first up final against the undefeated Kedron side for a spot in the Grand Final. The Woodies will be quietly confident of what many may consider an upset victory against ladder leaders, as they gather something close to their best available side for the first time in the 2015 season.
Success at the Woodsmen in recent years has been built on the back of a miserly defence, lead by champion centre half back Tim Green who continues to dominate in the air with his exceptional anticipation and safe hands. Fresh new recruit, Paul Eaton from club sponsor Place Graceville has enjoyed a standout debut season at full back with his height and athleticism, and would be one of the favourites for the prestigious Rising Woody award. At ground level, the evergreen club stalwarts Chris La Burniy and Matty Prior continue to give the team drive and run from the back half.
In the midfield, the Woodies enjoy stellar service from Magpie Legend, Brett McEvoy (when available) and Chris Mihalopolous who is also rumoured to have played a couple of games for the Magpies in previous years. Joined by youthful young star, Sam Curtis - they form a formidable centre square setup mixing youth, skill and experience, while games record holder Kiran 'Special K' Verma has produced another fine season after indifferent form in recent years, despite now being on the wrong side of 30....
Up front, the Woodies sport a diverse forward line, lead by dual premiership skipper and 2006 Magpie Premiership player, Sean Toohey with his mix of class and skill and a three pronged tall forward line causing defensive headaches for the opposition. Gerard Moore roams the arc at Centre Half Forward with his outstanding agility and fitness, mixed with strong hands, while a two pronged deeper forward line picks up the slack from the loss of Jay Baker, with club President Andrew Thomson leading the goalkicking by just 1 ahead of Sandgate recruit, big Stephen Forbes who has proved a strong (stationary) target in the goal square.
The Woodsmen have enjoyed the strong support from the Sherwood faithful in many home games this year and look forward to supportive crowd in enemy territory on Friday night as they take on Kedron. so make sure you get down to support the boys in what will be a high quality community footy final with spot in the Grand Final on the line.
Woodsmen AFC vs Kedron Lions - 730pm, Friday August 21 @ Kedron
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