Holmesglen U19 Premier 2016 preview

Posted on - Latest News, Featured, Under 19s

By John Donohoe

Another year of Under 19 football is before us and once again it looms as a tight year for all teams. The competition comprises of only eight teams this season after Old Melburnians and Old Trinity were relegated and the competition decided an eight-team competition would be best suited for the Under 19 Premier competition.

To refresh everyone’s memory last year’s U19 Premier Grand Final was a great contest, with Old Xaverians coming out on top of St Bernard’s to the tune of 10 points. The Xavs put together a 15-2 season and went on to win the premiership despite losing their two previous games against St Bernard’s during the season.

The reigning premiers come in to 2016 looking strong again, retaining a number of players as well as gaining some new talent who will go a long way to helping them win the flag again. The boys from Claremont, Sam Skinner and Brynn O’Connor, will provide a lot to an already strong Xavs side. Assistant coach Patrick Kennedy said “we have had a strong pre-season, we have a really good crop of second year players that will complement our exciting new comers, we are ready to go, we just want to get out on the park and have a crack”. The Xavs will unfurl their premiership flag at Toorak Park in Round 2 as they play one of the early games before the seniors play De La Salle at night. Xavs take on Bernard’s in Round 1 and will be hoping to get revenge for the grand final loss.

St Kevin’s are always a strong side and this year will be no exception as they tackle the Sharks at Sportscover Arena to kick off the season. Both teams have had strong pre-seasons and word out is this Beaumaris Under 19 side could be one of the best in recent seasons with some exciting new players joining the club. St Kevin’s has an abundance of talent and will hope that there recent 1st XVIII success will filter down to the 19s playing group as they look for that premiership that has eluded them for a number of years.

Old Scotch had a poor year last season but will look to bounce back in Round 1 against Uni Blacks at Crawford Oval. The Cardinals will likely lose their leading goal kicker from the last two seasons, Andrew Padbury, as he will most likely play senior football this season which will be a big loss for the Scotch boys.

Both Uni teams return to the Premier section this year. Both had pretty poor seasons last year and will need to produce something special to be right up the top end of the ladder contending for a flag. Unfortunately, with the big teams in this comp being very strong, I can’t see a spot for either Uni team this season, but will be hoping to challenge and be competitive throughout the season.

My smoky for this year is De La. They showed last year that they are capable of a big season and they made a serious run for the finals in the back end of last year but came up just short. De La will be an extremely hard side to beat once again and should get off to a quick start against Uni Blues on Saturday afternoon. Beware of De La, they are a strong club overall and their 19s have produced some serious players. If anyone is going to challenge Xavs, Bernard’s and Skobs, it will be this mob.

It is going to be another interesting year and we are all excited to have the VAFA season back. Good luck to all teams competing this weekend and let’s get this season started!!