In a huge night down at McCarthy Homes Oval tonight, where Pie Night will be in full swing, there will be 4 junior games across the back and front ovals – the headline act will be the Woodsmen hosting Morningside in a QFA Elimination Final.
It was a tough start to the year for the Woodies, with injuries and unavailability rampant in addition to extensive injury to the senior squad resulting in many players who expected to play Woodies ending up playing plenty of QAFL Reserves footy instead.
However, a late season surge where the Woodsmen managed to go from fighting for a finals berth to hosting the elimination final has seen them enter the finals having won 6 of their last 7 including defeating Morningside just 2 weeks ago on their home deck.
Even in the back half of the year, it hasn’t been smooth sailing with the win over Morningside costing the Woodies key players in Matt Garland (hamstring), Reid Dobson (calf) and Nick Kelly (ankle). However, despite this they have managed to name an extremely strong 26 with depth across the park making it a formidable side.
Key ins are the electric Irishman, Sammy Banim who can create a goal from nothing and the evergreen Chris La Burniy to provide defensive cover. The midfield looks particularly strong lead by former senior Premiership players in Chris Judson and Lachlan Woods as well as the consistent performers Sammy Curtis, Sam DeNys nd Dom Morrison. The ruck division is again likely to be a solo effort from Andrew Thomson, though Jason Evans has shown plenty of grunt in his stints on the ball at ground level and is more than capable of giving a quality ruck chop out if required.
Down back there is a mix of experience and youth, with club stalwarts Matty Prior and Tim Green marshalling the troops along with Chris Davis giving them plenty of run across half back with Josh Young and classy left footer Matt Bilko.
On the wings, the coaching architects of the 2018 Colts Premiership will be roaming each side in Kiran Verma and Jake Fuentes and they will be looking to show they can do more than move magnets!
The veteran fowardline contains plenty of smarts, with the injection of speed from the electric Irishman. Holding down key posts are the sharp shooter Matt Hockley and the strong marking left footer, Jason Evans. In the pockets and on the flanks will be a mixture of resting mids and club legend Chris Mihalopoulous is a dangerous proposition for opposition players to match up on.
Making up the bench are the evergreen 40 year old in Chris La Burniy, the versatile Mitch Merritt along with midfield/wing rotations in Dom Morrison and Will Gillespie.
The Woodies play an incredibly physical style of game and will again rely on their intensity around the ball, tackling hard, hitting packs hard and putting their bodies on the line. This often comes at the expense of a bit of speed and fitness, but is the trademark of the Woodies outfit!
However, this hardness and enver say die attitude has been nicely complimented in 2019 by the addition of a bit of youthful speed and the class of a select few.
It should be a cracking contest, with the Pies having plenty of scoring power in this week and a deep running midfield to compliment the always stingy defence.
Get down for a look, enjoy a Pie on the club Pie night and cheer on the boys.
U11 matches start from 6pm, with the Woodies commencing at 745pm