DAYLESFORD’S migration to the Central Highlands Football League in 2006 ignited one of the fiercest rivalries the competition has ever seen.
The Bulldogs became instant foes with cross-town rivals Hepburn, and began building a history that has produced many epic encounters.
Hepburn vice-captain John Comelli has been part of all the teams’ battles, and will tomorrow step out for yet another clash against the arch rival.
Comelli, a four-time premiership player with the Burras, likened the Hepburn-Daylesford fixture to that of an Anzac Day feature between Essendon and Collingwood.
“I guess that just heightens the feeling of winning the game. You get a bigger buzz out of winning the big games,” Comelli said.
“(But) just as much as winning the game has a better feeling, to lose the game hits pretty hard. You don’t want to be on the losing side. Everyone remembers who wins or loses this game, where other home and away games might get forgotten about.”
Comelli, who has relished his switch from defence to the midfield under new coach Troy Auld this season, said the club’s recruits would quickly become aware of the magnitude of the match. “The new guys will pick up on the feel of the game pretty early and realise what it means to the guys and it will be contagious amongst the team,” Comelli said.
Success between the two teams has been mixed in past years, with the Bulldogs having the last laugh on the Burras following last year’s qualifying final victory at Dunnstown.
The Burras bounced back with a win over Gordon, before bowing out in a preliminary final loss to eventual premier Waubra, while the Bulldogs overcame Buninyong before falling to the Roos in the grand final.
Tomorrow, the two teams enter with a full head of steam.
Hepburn, no longer under the leadership of coach, Shane Robertson, has started 2012 with a bang.
PREDICTION: Hepburn by four goals.