Division 3 Men’s: Season Preview

Posted on - Latest News, Division 3 Men's, Featured

Sheridan Harris

Emmaus St Leo’s

It was a rough end to Emmaus St Leo’s 2019 senior campaign as they fell agonisingly short in giving club champion Paul Baranello the send-off he thoroughly deserved, going down in a fierce preliminary final to Manningham Cobras. The Animals will look to go one better and continue their club’s successes, with an injection of youth into the side after heavy recruitment efforts has sent their numbers through the roof and instilled a great belief that Emmaus St Leo’s will have a very successful and competitive campaign in 2021.

Westbourne Grammarians

2019 was an interesting season for Westbourne Grammarians, whose win/loss ratio finished at 7-7. After narrowly missing finals and finishing 5th on the ladder, 2021 is set to be a competitive campaign for those at Warrior Park as 2020 head coach Brett Kennerley leads the club in celebrating their 30th year. Ali Eqbal is also returning in 2021 for his 8th season at Westbourne, after his form in front of goals resulted in being their 2019 leading scorer. Joining him is Adam Rompel, having recommitted as captain in a bid to lead his team to finals.

Canterbury

Canterbury will be looking to go two better than they did in 2019, after going down to Emmaus St Leo’s in the semi-final. They finished fourth on the ladder but only by percentage, with the Animals coming out on third despite sharing an 8-6 win/loss ratio. The Cobras will hope for some repeat heroics from their 2019 leading goal scorer Nathan Hicks when they take the field this year.

Parkside

After following North Brunswick to Division 3 on the back of a grand final appearance in 2018, 2019 was a struggle for Parkside, finishing 7th on the ladder with three wins and 11 losses. The coming season should be relatively competitive for the Red Devils as they welcome an influx of young players ready to pull on the red and white. Their first game of the season will be one to watch as they take on divisional newcomers Albert Park away from home which is a perfect opportunity to unite as a team and start the year well.

North Brunswick

The 2019 season was a rough one for North Brunswick, who finished last on the ladder with one win. This was despite starting their campaign off with a comprehensive 89-point win over Westbourne in Round 1. Even so, the silver lining for the Bulls is that they avoided relegation and are aiming to make the coming season a competitive one in Division 3. By the time they take the field in 2021, it will have been two years and four days since they left the field winners, so their first round game against Hawthorn is set to be a fierce contest.

Hawthorn AFC

After a disappointing 2019, finishing last on the Division 2 ladder, Hawthorn will be aiming to rebound quickly back in Division 3. With additions like Hugh Clancey and Jason Cowland adding to a team full of experienced players, including Aaron Downie and Ryan McElgunn, it is not a shock that there is plenty of optimism for the coming season. They had a coaching change as recently as last week, with Justin Raiti replacing David Knight on the eve of the season. Overall, the Hawks are a team buzzing after a successful pre-season, where trust and understanding of the game plan is high.

Richmond Central

2020 saw a lot of player turnover for Richmond Central, but the following months has seen a lot of men returning for the Snakes, who look like a whole-rounded group led by a strong coaching panel. Expect Richmond Central to go better than their 2019 form and push for top four. In a feel-good story of the year, Dane Roy is set to return for the Snakes in 2021, adding to his senior game tally after spending time overseas, plying his trade as a punter in college football.

Albert Park

Albert Park return to Division 3 after falling short in the 2019 Div 4 decider against St Francis Xavier. They won 12 games en route to the finals and will be buoyed by the re-scheduling of the Melbourne Grand Prix whereby they now have nine home games at Beaurepaire Pavilion. The team went internal and welcomed a new senior coach in former assistant Brett Tottenham. Despite losing quality personnel in the form of Josh Beets and Tom Wilson, they have strengthened their ties with Tasmania with Sam Lee joining his brother and Falcons utility, Jack.