REDAN might have the outstanding record in Ballarat Football League grand finals but it’s Sunbury that’s the overwhelming favourite with opposition coaches ahead of today’s grand final at Eastern Oval.
Of the eight coaches (and one captain) from the nine other BFL clubs who spoke with The Courier, all nine picked Sunbury to win today’s match.
But most said the pressure would come onto Sunbury if Redan makes it close.
“If it gets close I’d be getting nervous if I was Sunbury,” outgoing Bacchus Marsh coach Dave Callander said. Others agreed.
There was less consensus about the likely best on ground player in the grand final.
Key forward Simon Clarke was the choice of three, and inside midfielder Ross Sleight two (Callander said both).
Others in the mix, the coaches said, were Jamie Lobb and Pat Cariss, while the back-to-back Henderson Medallist, Jason McNamara of North Ballarat City, nominated Brett Chambers.
Dave Callander (Bacchus Marsh): Sunbury by 25 points. Half way through the year I would definitely have said Redan but Sunbury looks the form team now. But if it gets close I’d be getting nervous if I was Sunbury. Best on ground: Ross Sleight or Simon Clarke
Shane Hutchinson (Ballarat): Sunbury by 24 points. They have an even spread of players all over the ground and more firepower with Simon Clarke. Best on ground: Ross Sleight
Rod MacPherson (Darley): Sunbury by 17 points. I’d state the obvious that Redan is the experienced prize fighter and has no fear of finals. I think that first quarter was an absolute blitzkrieg for Sunbury. Best on ground: Ross Sleight or Jamie Lobb
Dan Jordan (East Point): Sunbury by 35 points. I think they’re travelling a bit better. On a dry day they might be a bit good for Redan. Best on ground: Jamie Lobb
Gavin Webb (Lake Wendouree): Sunbury by six points. They’re smarting after last year’s loss and they’ve got the height and the form. Having said that, Redan has the runs on the board. Best on ground: Simon Clarke
Bob Heaney (Melton): Sunbury by 24 points. If Simon Clarke has a good game Sunbury will win it. His form in the finals has been terrific. Best on ground: Simon Clarke
Shane Geddes (Melton South): Sunbury by 30 points. Both sides have a good spread of goalkickers but Sunbury’s backline is a bit more settled. Simon Clarke had a shocker in last year’s grand final but he is peaking this year. Best on ground: Simon Clarke.
Jason McNamara (captain, North Ballarat City): Sunbury by 17 points. Redan steps up to the big games but there’s just something about Sunbury’s form this year. Best on ground: Brett Chambers
Shawne Dummett (Sebastopol): Sunbury by 10 points. It will be very close. There looks nothing between the two teams. Best on ground: Pat Cariss