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EAST POINT v LAKE WENDOUREE
At Eastern Oval
Last time they met: rd 7 2018 - East Point 13.15 (93) d Lake Wendouree 11.9 (75)
East Point will open the Ballarat Football League season against Lake Wendouree on Saturday without eight of last year's premiership players.
CHFL best and fairest Joel Mahar (Bungaree), Jesse Baird (Clunes), Billy Jones (Grovedale) and Jaykeb Lench, who has returned to the club, will be new faces to line up at KFC Eastern Oval.
Mitch Tuddenham makes a return after missing last season with injury and youngster Matthew Romeril gets an opportunity after debuting last season.
Lucas Dahlenburg and Drew Murphy step back into the side after missing the grand final with injury.
Joel Ottavi heads the premiership team absentees. He is lining up with Williamstown in the VFL.
Chris Carson, Chris Quinlan, Cam Lovig, Jordan Payne, Jordan Taylor, Dallas Martin and Rhys Monument are also missing from the grand final line-up
The Kangaroos will also have a new leadership team with Brad Whittaker and Matt Johnston appointed co-captains.
They take over from veteran ruckman Paul Koderenko, who stepped aside and is likely to play different role for East Point.
Koderenko, who has been named on interchange, is coming off an abbreviated pre-season and there is every possibility he will be given a lighter workload.
He says while his general fitness is okay, his knees are showing the signs of wear and tear from a long football career.
Former Ballarat Swans coach Shane Hutchinson is the big inclusion for a ful-strength Lake Wendouree.
His experience complements the arrival of youngsters Josh Bibby (Warrack Eagles), Scott Carlin (Terang-Mortlake/GWV Rebels) and former CHFL rookie of the year Jacob Coxall (Buninyong).
A QUICK WORD
KANGAROOS: as reigning premier they carry much greater expectations into this season. While it is not terminology coach Jake Bridged likes, the Roos are now the hunted rather than hunter and will face much more pressure.
LAKERS: did well to slip into the finals after big player losses last year. A fairly settled line-up looking for youth and some opportunists to come through. Sure to be thereabouts in fight for finals.
PREDICTION: East Point
B: Daniel Tung, Mitchell Walsh, Mitchell Tuddenham
HB: Drew Murphy, Joel Van Meel, Lucas Dahlenburg
C: Jesse Baird, Matthew Johnston, Aden Nestor
HF: Billy Jones, Brad Whittaker, Jake McQueen
F: Jordan Johnston, Bryson McDougall, Jacob Brown
R: Jaykeb Lench, Mickitja Rotumah-Onus, Daniel Semmens
Int: Paul Koderenko, Matthew Romeril, Clay Bilney, Joel Mahar
B: William Henderson, Lachlan O'Connell, Jacob Coxall
HB: Caleb Hepworth, Arthur Armstrong, Scott Carlin
C: Joshua Bibby, Shane Hutchinson, Jacob Lohmann
HF: Nathan Pring, Callum McKay, Kynan Raven
F: Liam Hepworth, Bailey Edwards, Ashley Simpson
R: Jack Elkington, Ben Taylor, Joel O'Connell
Int: Ambrose Gillett, Sam Clifton, Tom McKechnie, Ned Nash
Emg: Sean Willmott, Matthew Jones
NORTH BALLARAT CITY V BACCHUS MARSH
At Mars Stadium
Last time they met: rd 13 2018 - North Ballarat 14.7 (91) d Bacchus Marsh 12.13 (85)
CAM McCallum has been given the biggest ruck assignment in the Ballarat Football League for his debut with North Ballarat City.
He will go head-to-head with Bacchus Marsh's reigning Henderson Medallist Daniel Burton at Mars Stadium on Saturday.
McCallum returns to football after a stint with Ballarat's elite basketball team, the Miners.
He last made a BFL senior appearance with Melton in 2015, having previously played with Learmonth.
McCallum, with the support of youngster Charlie Perks, steps into the ruck role after a reshuffle within the team structure.
Brock Freeman (Springbank) and Josh Chatfield (Koroit/GWV Rebels) are other recruits named, while Fletcher Toose and Rebels-listed Riley Polkinghorne step up from under-age ranks to make their senior debuts.
Bacchus Marsh is close to full strength with well credentialled duo Tom Brownbridge (Irymple) and Jake De Winter (QAFL) debuting, and Quade Butt making his first senior appearance for the Cobras since 2017. Kane White (knee) is back after a year off.
A QUICK WORD
CITY: have to respected highly after finishing second. Is going to depend a lot on youth, but Simon McCartin, Will Young, Daniel Jones and Tim Spiers will be driving the group hard. Never underestimate.
COBRAS: new coach Peter Davey takes charge for the first time. Not a great deal of change in on-field personnel, but Davey has promised a different game style headed up by premier ruckman Daniel Burton, Jake Owen and a Jacob Chisari keen to stay on the park this year.
PREDICTION: Bacchus Marsh
North Ballarat City
B: Benjamin Simpson , Ryan Hobbs, Joshua Bromley-Lynch
HB: Riley Polkinghorne, Ryan Luke, Oliver Nash
C: Fletcher Toose, Simon Mc Cartin, Josh Chatfield
HF: Mitchell Gilbert, Charlie Perks, Tom Bromley-Lynch
F: William Young, Cameron McCallum, Elliott Lamb
R: Brock Freeman, Daniel Jones, Timothy Speirs
Int: Fiachra O'deasmhunaigh, Brock Leonard, Clay Jenkins, Sam Willian
Emg: James Curran, Adam Turley, Jack Simpson, Sam Bowen, Dylan Graham
B: Daniel Velden, Thomas Wardell, James Dickson
HB: Ryley Stuhldreier, Thomas Brownbridge, Liam Mullen
C: Matthew Chisari, Jacob Chisari, Quade Butt
HF: Aaron Willitts, Jake Owen, Billy Griffiths
F: Hamish Coulton, Jakob De Winter, Tyson Shea
R: Daniel Burton, Harrison King, Nicholas Stuhldreier
Int: Simon Lafranchi, Jay Homewood, Kain Dickson, Kane White, Declan Phyland
Emg: Tim Hughes
SEBASTOPOL V BALLARAT
At Marty Busch Reserve
Last time they met: rd 13 - Sebastopol 13.15 (93) d Ballarat 3.7 (25)
BALLARAT has named eight new faces to last year, headlined by assistant coach and AFL-experienced Andrew Hooper, to play Sebastopol at Marty Busch Reserve on Saturday night.
He is joined by another former North Ballarat VFL-listed player Nick Weightman, Joel Berry (Creswick), Footscray VFL-listed Lochie Dawson (Hamilton), Ash Munari (Carisbrook) and Thomas Thewlis (SMW Rovers).
Nick O'Farrell makes his return to the Swans' forward line after spending a year with the Southern Mallee Giants in the Wimmera league. Grant Baldwin is back after missing last season after a knee recronstruction.
Sebastopol brings in Sam Jenkins (Dunnstown), Luke Kiel (Geelong VFL), Toby Thoolen (Swan Hill) and Hug Papst (Kalkee).
A QUICK WORD
BURRA: after being so close to play finals last year, they have have to take the next step. The addition of top-liners in Luke Kiel and Toby Thoolen,, and an emotional return by Sam Jenkins gives Sebastopol every chance.
SWANS: in contrast, a substantial influx of new blood under new coach Joe Carmody. They need to find some spark through the likes of marquee recruit Andrew Hooper and the younger talent which has been working through the ranks.
B: Jacob Wilkinson, Grady Snowden, Ben Hutt
HB: Hugo Papst, Baden Stevens, Sam Jenkins
C: Chase Dummett, Luke Kiel, Matt Austin
HF: Simon Butler, Toby Hutt, James Carroll
F: Brett Goodes, Tobias Thoolen, Geoffrey Lovett
R: Nicholas Hausler, Lachlan Cassidy, Daniel Widgery
Int: Ryan Noether, Jai Harvey, Jordan Gercovich, Bradley Weightman
Emg: Joshua Morgan, Marshall Cain, Tom Petersen
B: Tyler Constable, Luke Wynd, Brandyn Davidson
HB: Mitch Martin, Bailey Van de Heuvel, Keegan Mellington
C: Grant Baldwin, Andrew Hooper, Nick Weightman
HF: Joel Berry, Jack Blackburn, Nick O'Farrell
F: Lochie Dawsson, Ash Munari, Ben Hobbs
R: Marcus Powling, Daniel Kennedy, Sam James
Int: Matthieu Brehaut, Jesse Nicholls, Carter Prendergast, Thomas Thewlis
DARLEY V SUNBURY
At Darley Park
Last time they met: rd 14 - Darley 123.18 (96) d Sunbury 7.10 (52)
DARLEY has named recruits Trent Angwin (Bacchus Marsh), Nick Graham (Carlton), Bailey Waasdorp (Tongala) and Casey Young (Old Scotch Collegians) to face Sunbury at Darley.
Ben Brennan (St Albans), Leigh Brennan (St Albans), Daylan Kempster (Maribyrnong Park) and Dylan Featon (Rupertswood) land at Sunbury.
A QUICK WORD
DEVILS: finished last season strong and has added quality with Nick Graham and Trent Angwin among those getting on board. Is missing a suspended Brian Graham for two rounds, but a fit Heath Scotland can only be good for Darley.
LIONS: former premiership player Travis Hodgson makes his long anticipated return as coach and expectations under the Bacchus Marsh premiership mentor are high. Sunbury will line up stronger and almost certainly an extra edge.
B: Jake Ancrum, Kirk Fenton, Bailey Waasdorp
HB: Jack Bewley, Mark Hanson, Andrew Azzopardi
C: Casey Young, Nicholas Graham, Shane Page
HF: Harley Inglis, Jackson Carrick, Corey Cullen
F: Blake Colley, Jake Edwards, Trent Angwin
R: Darren Leonard, Luther Baker, Jacob Zeestraten
Int: Lachlan Herring, Jordan Spiteri, Nicholas Thacker, Joel Cadman
Emg: Duncan Cadman, Heath Scotland
B: Tom Werner, Ben Brennan, Reece Wood
HB: Dylan Featon, Luke Goater, Nathan Wood
C: Dylan Landt, Greg Hay, Grant Valles
HF: Andrew Dahau, Leigh Brennan, Jack Landt
F: Lochie Bramble, Daylan Kempster, Jack Sheahan
R: Jayden Eales, Mitch Conn, Alik Magin
Int: Liam Berry, Michael Edwards, Ben Guthrie, Pat MacDonough
Emg: Jack Bygate, Alex Goodson, Jack Hannett, Brad Mundy
MELTON SOUTH V MELTON
At Melton Recreation Reserve
Last time they met: rd 13 - Melton 16.17 (113) d Melton South 8.8 (56)
FORMER Carlton player Paul Bower is Melton South's big addition for its clash with Melton at Melton Recreation Reserve.
Shaun Campbell (Wagga Tigers) and Dyson Stevens (Deer Park) are newcomers for the Bloods, while Jordan Kyte is back after a winter of cricket.
A QUICK WORD
PANTHERS: still well and truly in development mode as coach Heath Pritchard maps out a plan for the long-term future after an experimental quick fix under a previous regime came up short.
BLOODS: one of the surprise packets of last year - finally delivering on potential. A close grand final loss is going to be a major driving force for a strengthened combination. Definitely improvement there as they come to terms to being a top side.