With just a month left in the Geelong Football League season 2017, let’s cast ahead and see what is to come and what it means for all teams in Country Victoria’s No. 1 ranked league.
1st– ST JOSEPH’S (13-0, 52p)
To Play- Bell Park (Away), Lara (Home), Leopold (A), St Mary’s (A), Geelong West Giants (H)
Wash-up: Faultless in the opening 13 rounds of the season – Heath Jamieson really got his men back on track after a straight sets finals exit in 2016. The Joeys are just two wins short of equaling the longest ever GFL winning streak. Don’t be surprised if they drop one of the games coming home to the Dragons, Lions or Saints resting some players, but it should matter not – this is a crazy good football side.
Predicted Finish: FIRST
2nd– ST MARY’S (11-1-1, 46p)
To Play- Lara (A), South Barwon B (H), BP (A), St Joseph’s (H), Grovedale (A)
Wash-up: A tricky final three games leading into finals for St Mary’s with fixtures against Bell Park, Joeys and Grovedale, two of which are away from home. It is not so much a matter of whether the Saints make the top three as it is where in that three they finish. Lose two out of the last five and they could very well lose the double chance.
Predicted Finish: SECOND
3rd– BELL PARK (11-2, 44p)
To Play- StJ (H), Leo (A), StM (H), North Shore (A), Colac (H)
Wash-up: A second half of the season as good as any side in the GFL, perhaps only rivalled by St Joseph’s. Their form is strong but they have a tough run into the finals, playing all other sides who are likely to feature in the finals. The Dragons will trust their process and contested ball capabilities to carry them through.
Predicted Finish: FOURTH
4th– COLAC (10-3, 40p)
To Play- Gro (H), Newtown & Chilwell (A), GWG (A), SB (H), BP (A)
Wash-up: The young Tigers are one of the success stories of the season, and are assured of a finals place before the final month of the year, a huge tick for playing coach Kane Leersen in his first year in the role. Could sneak into the top three with the most favourable run home of any of the top 4. The availability of players Floyd and McLachlan loom as key.
Predicted Finish: THIRD
5th– LEOPOLD (8-5, 32p)
To Play- SB (A), BP (H), StJ (H), N&C (A), NS (H)
Wash-up: The reigning Premier hasn’t clicked with injuries, unavailabilities and subsequent poor form truncating their season. With over a two game gap between making finals and not, the Lions should be safe. How far they go however depends on getting the injured back and into some form before time runs out. Simonds Stadium will suit their style of play.
Predicted Finish: FIFTH
6TH– NEWTOWN & CHILWELL (5-1-7, 22P)
To Play- NS (A), Col (H), Gro (A), Leo (H), Lara (A)
Wash-up: The Eagles are in the three way logjam for the sixth place they currently occupy. A strong first half to the season has been offset by a slower second; almost a full year of senior footy has seemingly taking its toll on the uber young group. Games against North Shore and Grovedale are no longer fait accompli.
Predicted Finish: SIXTH
7TH– GROVEDALE (5-8, 20p)
To Play- Col (A), GWG (A), N&C (H), St Albans (A), StM (H)
Wash-up: A better form line since Coach Craig McCaughan announced 2017 would be his last, but cannot afford a loss in the final month to snatch fifth off Leopold. A defeat this weekend against Colac would dash those hopes at the first point of asking.
Predicted Finish: SEVENTH
8TH– NORTH SHORE (5-8, 20p)
To Play- N&C (H), StA (H), SB (A), BP (H), Leo (A)
Wash-up: Much like Grovedale and Newtown, this weekend defines the Seagulls’ season. Win, and South Barwon upset Leopold then the finals dream is on. Lose, and you can start planning for 2018. The young group has made significant steps this season, and playing-coach Jason Davenport has signed on for 2018.
Predicted Finish: EIGHTH
9TH– SOUTH BARWON (4-9, 16p)
To Play- Leo (H), StM (A), NS (H), Col (A), StA (H)
Wash-up: Another year without finals footy after such a prolonged period of success for the Swans, but they have got games into plenty of talented youngsters which will hold them in good stead. They could conceivably drop all five games heading into the end of the year, or pinch a couple of scalps (namely Leopold and North Shore) as they did last season.
Predicted Finish: NINTH
10TH– GEELONG WEST GIANTS (4-9, 16p)
To Play- StA (A), Gro (H), Col (H), Lara (A), StJ (A)
Wash-up: Much like the Seagulls, 2017 started with much promise and has predictably faded, but they have plenty to be happy about having made inroads on their 2016 form. Should account for Lara, but this weekend’s game against St Albans could be the difference between finishing eighth or eleventh.
Predicted Finish: ELEVENTH
11TH– ST ALBANS (1-12, 4p)
To Play- GWG (H), NS (A), Lara (H), Gro (H), SB (A)
Wash-up: A tough year to date but recent form suggests things are on the up for Paul Nigro’s men following the return of some key players. The SuperSaints ran Leopold and Newtown to within four goals, and can win three on the bounce over the Giants, Seagulls and Lara to save some face on the season.
Predicted Finish: TENTH
12TH– LARA (0-13, 0p)
To Play- StM (H), StJ (A), StA (A), GWG (H), N&C (H)
Wash-up: Not so much about the end result this year for Simon Riddoch’s men as it is the process and teaching the youngest group in the GFL how to play footy ‘the right way’. The round 17 clash with Geelong West presents the Cats with their last conceivable chance of nabbing a maiden victory of 2017.
Predicted Finish: TWELFTH