U19’s Preliminary Finals Preview

Posted on - Latest News, Featured, Under 19s, Finals


By U19’s Premiership Coach Ray Leetham


Preliminary Final  : Old Xaverians  v Beaumaris

What a game this will be… The “Champs” v the “Underdogs”. Xavs were up and about in the second semi but just lacked the finish of St Bernard’s to take it out. Beaumaris were good all over the park last week with their classy midfield. They created so many options up forward while keeping the Skobber ball magnets away from the action. Xavs look the strong team on paper but Beaumaris have the “X factor” in a number of players who are just hard at the footy and win it quite easily. Their team structures are based on McLaren, Gregory and Doherty winning multiple options and throw in Taylor and Pierce to finish and the Xavs’ coaching staff have something to think about.

Old Xaverians will need Ongarato, Morris and “Paul Vander Haar” to take control or they will be under the pump very quickly. Amad and Troiani are two players to watch as they move the ball well and control ball movement for a lot of game time.

I spoke to players and some coaching staff from last week’s  Skobbers v Beaumaris game and the feeling was the same…Beaumaris has some Unders back from the seniors and are a very talented side who will push the Xavs all the way and Xavs coach Callinan will be tested all the way. Conditions will be perfect and if you want to see the best under age footy in town get down to Waverley Oval in East Malvern on Sunday for a mega feast of Under 19 football.

Prediction – Beaumaris to go through to the grand final by 17 points.

SECTION 2 – Old Brighton  v Caulfield Grammarians

Caulfield are flying and got home by a point last week – the best way to win a final. In the second semi Old Brighton were strong but just fell away in the second half. This is a test of ball movement, play makers and the ability to score quickly. Both sides are running, quick and highly competitive in all aspects of their game. Caulfield coach Josh McCann is well aware of the grand final three years ago when Old Brighton gave the Grammarians a football lesson and won easily; this memory will give him some ammunition in his pregame speech.

Caulfield will look to Stewart, Morrell, Smith, Mills  and Toniolo to give them drive while Old Brighton have faith in their powerful team structures based on Armstrong, Yeoman, Grant, Harris and Cowling. Coach Ryan Joseph is pretty happy with the season but is cautious about Caulfield as they have the “X factor” and are in great September form. On paper, Old Brighton is slightly stronger but Caulfield are the “team of the second half of the season”.

If Brighton play up to their ability it could be the end of the line for Caulfield, as Old Brighton are finals specialists and go into the game full of confidence. This final is like a marathon- the first two quarters are settling in while the last two decide who has the stamina to finish and go on to potential greatness.

Prediction- Old Brighton to end the fairy tale for Caulfield Grammarians.