It’s September

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ONLY A FEW WEEKS LEFT… Kyabram’s Jash Dillon tackles Shepparton Bears’ Jayden Gagliardi. Photo: Bailey Opie Photography.

September in Australia means football finals time during the first month of spring. The weather warms up and you can smell the fresh grass clippings.

The final six system in the GVL has long been a system that has caused much discussion and debate. It is quite unique in that all other leagues that use a top six have the first and second sides having the first week off. This makes sure the first and second best sides over the home and away season face off in the second semi final, with the winner advancing to the grand final.

Over the years that the GVL have used this top six system, the team in 6th has only gone past the first semi final on one occasion, which was Seymour in 2012 when they had a number of VFL players that had qualified for the finals. If they win the first week, 6th plays the loser of the 1st versus 2nd game in the semi final.

This year, Kyabram have been the clear ladder leader with an undefeated season and Echuca clearly the second best side in the competition. 2019 is a good example of why first should be playing second in the second semi final, as they are the heavyweights.

There was a 10-year period in the GVL that the 3rd placed side after the home and away season was the eventual premier. Many say that this was due to the softer entry to the second semi final after first and second had slogged it out in the qualifying final.

One thing for sure in 2019 is that the best three sides in the competition are the remaining sides left to chase the premiership dream. It certainly looks like Kyabram’s to lose but twice in the last five years we have had a side go into the grand final undefeated only to fall down at the last hurdle.

Echuca and Shepparton face off this week with the chance to repeat that feat.