BFL: Ballarat and East Point to compete in Anzac Day tradition

IT SIMPLY would not be Anzac Day in the Ballarat Football League without Ballarat and East Point going to battle.

Two of the league’s traditional rivals will today go toe-to-toe in the most traditional fixture on the BFL calendar.

For five out of the past seven years, the Swans and Kangaroos have met on Anzac Day, in a tradition that grows stronger as the years go by.

The custom started back in 2008 and lasted for three years, before a two-year hiatus, due mainly to the day falling mid-week.

It returned last year however, and has now become an integral match for both clubs.

East Point holds the mantle of the dominant team in previous Anzac Day clashes, winning three out of the four previous meetings.

However, if there was a betting market on the match, it would be fair to say the Swans are going in as hot favourites this time around.

Not that Ballarat coach Ash Baker is buying into the hype.

“It’s exciting to be a part of, not many leagues have Anzac Day clashes and of the leagues that do, not many teams get to be a part of it,” Baker said.

“You mention to the boys about how important it is but you don’t put too much emphasis on the day itself. We were pretty keen to get hold of it again and now we just have to deliver.”

Three key names will return to pull on a red and white jumper today, with Nick Garner, Damien Larkin and Adam Sewell to all play their first games for the season.

Joe Otto will miss with a groin complaint, Liam Youl has been selected for the North Ballarat Roosters, while James Mead has been dropped back to the reserves.

For East Point, coach Glenn Wilkins will blood two first-gamers in a bid to increase leg speed and carry across the ground.

Angus Wright and Sam Romeril (younger brother of Jack) will play their first senior games, as Sam Webb and Jack Watkins make way.

Despite being humiliated by Lake Wendouree in round one to the tune of 64 points, Wilkins said it was important his side was far more competitive this time around.

“We haven’t got bogged down in our first effort at all, we moved on from that straight away,” he said.

PREDICTION: Ballarat to triumph at home.