Derby clash needs to be ear­lier in sea­son

Hawks pres­i­dent says derby clash needs to be ear­lier in sea­son

Wangaratta Chronicle - - Front Page - BY JEREMY WIL­SON jwil­[email protected] ne­me­

WAN­GARATTA Rovers pres­i­dent An­drew Smith is dis­ap­pointed the first Wan­garatta derby of the 2019 Ovens and Mur­ray Foot­ball Net­ball League sea­son won’t be played un­til the start of June.

The O&M yes­ter­day re­leased their draw for 2019 with the two Wan­garatta der­bies set down for June 2 (WJ Find­lay Oval) and Au­gust 18 (Norm Minns Oval).

In a sim­i­lar sit­u­a­tion to 2018, the Hawks and Mag­pies won’t face off un­til round eight de­spite both clubs’ pref­er­ence to play the block­buster clash in the first five rounds of the sea­son.

Both der­bies last sea­son clashed with sev­eral other events with Wan­garatta’s home game in June go­ing up against the Win­ery Walk­a­bout while when it was the Hawks’ turn to host in the last round, dis­trict fi­nals in the Ovens and King were be­ing played.

And while the Wan­garatta derby will have to wait, the first Al­bury and Wodonga derby match-ups will both be played on An­zac Day in round four.

With a new coach in Daryn Cress­well and a new-look line-up ex­pected, Smith said the Hawks were dis­ap­pointed their home derby wasn’t ear­lier in the year.

“It makes sense to play it ear­lier in the year,” Smith said.

“Ide­ally it’s bet­ter to play ear­lier for both clubs be­cause it’s a big game when both clubs can gen­er­ate some in­ter­est.

“But at the end of the day, it is what it is.

“I un­der­stand next year was a bit trick­ier with Easter and An­zac Day so close.”

When asked about his thoughts on play­ing the Wan­garatta derby late in the first and se­cond rounds of the sea­son, Wan­garatta pres­i­dent Tony Good­i­son played a straight bat.

“We get good crowds to those games ei­ther way but the ear­lier in the sea­son, the bet­ter I would have thought,” he said.

“Rovers have the first one next year after we had it this year.”

Out­side of the derby clashes, Wan­garatta has been granted its wish of two night games early in the sea­son with matches against Corowa/ Ruther­glen (March 30) and Wodonga Raiders (April 6) sched­uled.

The clash with the Roos has been brought for­ward from round four with the O&M lock­ing in two games on March 30 be­fore the of­fi­cial first round on April 6.

Reign­ing pre­mier Al­bury meets Wan­garatta in a grand fi­nal re-match in round six at the Al­bury Sports­ground.

“We looked to have two night games next year so we’re pretty happy to get those in,” Good­i­son said.

“They’re both early in the sea­son and we gen­er­ally get good crowds to those games.

“We would have liked to get a Good Fri­day night game so we’ve missed that again but maybe next year.

“We don’t play Al­bury at home un­til later in the year ei­ther.”

Wan­garatta Rovers also have a might­ily tough start to the sea­son when they face reign­ing pre­mier Al­bury at the Tigers’ home ground while they also travel to Myrtle­ford on Easter Sun­day.

The Mag­pies meet Yar­ra­wonga on Easter Sun­day at Mul­wala’s Lons­dale Re­serve while the cor­re­spond­ing match in round 12 will be played on Sun­day at the Norm Minns Oval.

The full O&M draw for 2019 can be found on the Wan­garatta

Chron­i­cle Face­book page.

PHOTO: Melanie Guy

BIG CLASH: Wan­garatta Rovers’ Stu­art Booth and Wan­garatta’s Jessie Smith com­pete dur­ing the fi­nal round of the 2018 O&M sea­son. The derby clashes will again re­main later in the sea­son next year, much to the dis­ap­point­ment of the Hawks camp.

Wan­garatta pres­i­dent Tony Good­i­son

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