Woodsmen face big challenge vs defending Premiers
The Western Magpies 3rds (Woodsmen) face their biggest test of the year when they face competition heavyweights Zillmere Eagles at the Nest tonight in what promises to be a bruising and highly skilled encounter. Since Zillmere won an undefeated Premiership in 2013 and the Woodsmen returned serve with an undefeated flag of their own in 2014 – these 2 sides have been there or thereabouts in recent seasons, and fought multiple close battles all decided by less than a few goals, and plenty decided by less than a kick.
The Woodies knocked the Eagles out in the Prelim final in 2015, while the Eagles and Woodies didn’t see each other in the 2016 finals – the Eagles got the last laugh with a 2nd Premiership in 4 seasons. Both teams are a strong blend of experienced old heads with a bit of youthful talent mixed in. It promises to be a great game of footy, and importantly played in great spirits as there is a healthy level of respect between the 2 sides.
Once again the Woodies have swung another 3 changes this week, which is as close to ‘continuity’ as you can get in Friday night footy. Out of the side goes Scott ‘Burnsy’ Matthews with a tight hamstring after his successful return to the big time last week with 2 goals, Hunter Heath who is no longer able to play this season and ‘Tricky’ Ricky Masterson who has had a fantastic opening 3 rounds, despite being completely new to footy in 2017 and well past his 40th birthday! Old Rick would have to be favourite for the prestigious ‘Rising Woody’ for 2017 in early betting markets.
Returning to the side are versatile defender Chris ‘Stink’ La Burniy (who may have a point to prove after failing to gain a nomination for ‘Mr Magpie 2017’), Matt ‘Horse’ Garland for his first game since the 2016 finals and ‘Irish’ Sammy Banim who instead of resuscitating the good people of Brisbane as a Paramedic, he will be breathing life into the forward line of the Woodies with his speed and skill!
Gerard Moore was at his best last week vs UQ, straightening up the Woodies attack and ensuring the ball gets in quick and fast for the likes of Jakey Fuentes, Greg ‘Moe’ Matthews and the coach Chris Mihalopoulous who was in vintage touch last week with a bag of 6 goals. Big G was also able to add a new dimension to the Woodies last week, banging home two big goals from outside 50 from strong marks.
After the successful experiment of Kiran Verma on half back, and Pauly Eaton on the wing last week – the Woodies are returning to the ‘status quo’ this week due to unavailability and matchups – with K lining up on the wing and Pauly returning to the defensive goalsquare. Patrolling the other wing will be the versatile Lochie McDonald who could also find himself deep forward at times.
Zillmere feature a versatile team with a deep midfield all capable of kicking goals, so the Woodies defensive unit will have to be on their game and switched on to the threats, particularly focusing on ensuring they don’t lose their opponents as they rotate in and out of the middle. The Woodies on the other hand will again be looking for big games from Mika and Big G, and a big return to the team from Horse up front. Jakey Fuentes will again be influential with his ability to get to the contest and lock the ball in, allowing the Woodies multiple opportunities to score.
Get on down to the nest tonight and enjoy the only game of Senior footy to be played in Chelmer this weekend. Enjoy a Coopers and something from the Woods Bar & Grill in what should be great game of footy for the spectators.