By Kyle Power
SHEPPARTON V ECHUCA – 98.5 ONEFM BROADCAST GAME
SATURDAY, the match of the day between two cellar dwellers looks to be a tight and intriguing contest. Shepparton will look to go for three wins in a row which hasn’t happened for a some time, after good wins against Tatura (home) and then Mansfield (away), with the club setting itself up for a strong 2016. Brad Campbell’s hard work and strategic planning looks to be paying dividends, but a win against their opponent, Echuca, won’t come easy, as the last time these two sides met in Round 6 saw the Bears win by 72 points at Victoria Park. I like Echuca’s midfield with the Buckleys, Beattie, Reid and Pollock all having a good season, however I see this one as the Bears taking a loss. I have the Bears ahead of the Murray Bombers in terms of developing that next tier of senior players, which in turn I hope rewards the Shepparton Football Club in years to come.
Players to watch – Daniel Willis (Shepparton) & Simon Buckley (Echuca)
ROCHESTER V SHEPPARTON UNITED
THE week off couldn’t come quick enough for various reasons for both these sides, with the Tigers losing by the narrowest of margins to Benalla in a real heavyweight bout in Round 14, which would have produced a few sore bodies. The Tigers remain one of the premiership fancies, however will be wanting to get back on the winners list after two close losses in a row. Rochester have a real steady and set side with only 28 players required for senior duties this season. Finals can’t come quick enough for them and I expect a solid showing this weekend against the Demons, who have been disappointing this year. They will take a little away from the last time they played the Tigers in Round 10, losing by 30 points but holding Rochester to just 10 goals for the game. That term ‘rebuilding’ will now be in focus at United’ who in recent weeks have been blooding the youngsters, which is great to see. Tim Looby’s leadership cannot be questioned or the endeavor shown by the more experienced players within their squad.
Players to watch – Tim Looby (Shepparton United) & Ash Watson (Rochester)
TATURA V MANSFIELD
AN interesting game this one; between two sides who are struggling this season. Mansfield blew a golden opportunity to push for top six honours last round against Shepparton at home. When looking over the talent that is at the Eagles disposal it’s hard to see that they languish in eighth position three games outside the top six. They need a win badly, as a taste of success has been well over a month for the men in the high country. They have some big name players within the side that just need to bring consistent effort and the winning mentality. Tatura will be eyeing this game off to register their first win for the year with a couple of tough opponents in the weeks ahead. Being at home with the passionate Bulldog faithful behind them, they just might pinch a memorable victory, but it won’t come easy. The experience to senior footy that Jamason Daniels is providing to his youngsters will be vital for next season with an influx of recruits coming to the club.
Players to watch – Henry Peni (Tatura) & Jamie Sheahan (Mansfield)