Big V vs Adelaide Footy League Preview

Posted on - Representative Football, Latest News, Featured

Nick Armistead – @NickArmistead

Tomorrow marks the commencement of a new era in representative football as the VAFA sends both a men’s and women’s team to South Australia for back-to-back games against the Adelaide Footy League.

Formerly known as the South Australian Amateur Football League (SAAFL), the VAFA and our cross-border counterparts share an unrivalled history dating back to 1925 when the two teams met for the first time at the MCG. Since that historic occasion 93 years ago – where the VAFA celebrated a 96-point victory – the two competitions have met 71 times for a win-loss record of 54-17 in favour of the Big V.

However, the latest instalment went against the grain as the SAAFL proved too strong and ran out 17-point winners at Trevor Barker Oval two years ago. It was one of just five losses to the SAAFL at home and the first since 1995.

The list, which can be found HERE, has experienced significant turnover from the 2016 line-up, with just four players who were a part of that campaign set to run out tomorrow.

Of note, Matt Handley (Old Xaverians) will return for his 15th representative game and as one of the all-time champions of our Association. During his tenure as a Big V representative, Handley has provided numerous highlights, none more impressive than his eight goals against AFL Queensland in 2014.

George Burbury (c) and Tom Paule (vc) will lead the squad once again after successfully captaining the senior side to a record-breaking 82-point victory over AFL Victoria Country last year, while seven players will debut at senior representative level.

The buy-in experienced by the 2017 group has continued to bare fruit with no less than 12 of those players selected again this year.

In just its second year of existence, the VAFA women’s competition will travel interstate and commence its own rivalry with the South Australians.

Understandably, the turnover from the 22 who defeated AFL Goldfields in 2017 to now has been significant, with 16 women receiving the opportunity to wear the Big V guernsey for the first time. Captain Ruby Grounds (Melbourne Uni) and vice-captain Taylor Padfield (Marcellin) lead a host of enthusiastic and deserving new-comers.

Sasha Long (Beaumaris), Nat MacDonald (Marcellin), Tessa Zagontinos (Marcellin), Bek Watson (Mazenod), Riley Christgoergl (Old Xaverians) and Sarah Cameron (SKOB Saints) all return after forming part of last year’s successful squad. See the full list of this year’s 22 HERE.

One of the most significant stories to come out of this historical trip is the inclusion of the Big V’s first brother-sister combination, Gerard and Margaret Gleeson (St Kevin’s OB/SKOB Saints). Margaret will debut after a standout season for the Saints, while Gerard returns for his third senior Big V cap and fresh off a best-on-ground performance against De La Salle.

Former soccer player, Caitlin Greiser, is set to impress after kicking eight goals in her two games for MUWFC, while Marcellin supporters will be watching the live stream with a keen eye as five of their stars take to Aldi Arena.

For those unable to make the trek across to SA, you can tune into the live broadcast of both games via the links below.

Match Details

VAFA Senior Women’s vs Adelaide Footy League

Date: Saturday 9 June

Time: 1:10pm

Venue: Aldi Arena (Thebarton Oval)

Live Stream Link: https://www.vafa.com.au/latest-news/aafc-championship-match-womens-live-stream/

VAFA Senior Men’s vs Adelaide Footy League

Date: Saturday 9 June

Time: 3pm

Venue: Aldi Arena (Thebarton Oval)

Live Stream Link: https://www.vafa.com.au/latest-news/aafc-championship-match-mens-live-stream/