BELLARINE Football League clubs are moving into the final phase of preparation for the 2019 season with the first practice matches commencing in the next fortnight.
Drysdale, which is expected to be the big mover after making some handy additions, will be the first club in action on March 2 when it meets reigning GDFL premier Thomson.
The Hawks announced the arrival of Leopold premiership player Jesse Lothian in late January, having confirmed the addition of Bell Park trio Jarrod Garth, Chris Lynch and Jarrod Love, former Essendon speedster Lauchie Dalgleish and the
return of Mitch McGuire and Ben Carmichael before Christmas.
They are one of a number of BFL clubs who will test themselves against GFL opponents during March.
Drysdale will play Grovedale, Anglesea is taking on St Albans, and Barwon Heads will battle both South Barwon and Colac.
Geelong Amateur and Torquay both have a meeting with Bell Park, and reigning premier Modewarre and Ocean Grove will have hit-outs against Geelong West.
The Warriors will take on a slightly different look to the team that upset the Seagulls in last year’s decider.
Four members of the premiership twenty-two have departed Community Bank Oval, including Daniel Sturzaker, who has returned to Portland for family reasons, Jeremy Ollis (Bell Park) and Brodie Adcock (Sea Lake-Nandaly).
Veteran forward Luke Forbes is also not a certain starter.
However, Modewarre holds high hopes for recruits George Swarbrick (Newtown & Chilwell) and Hasker Dawborn from Ballarat league club East Point, who represented the GWV Rebels at TAC Cup level and captained local school St Patrick’s College.
Barwon Heads looms as the team to beat. The Seagulls recently added Chris Varsamakis, who has an extensive playing history in Melbourne, from Quambatook and former Geelong Falcon Mick Salmon, who has most recently been at Simpson in the Colac and District league.
They’ve also confirmed the availability of Wayne Barrett after an injury-interrupted 2018.
It comes after signing former AFL listed player Tim McIntyre and Brad Harvey only weeks after their grand final loss.
Preliminary finalist Anglesea has been boosted by the arrival of former Bell Park big man Zane Vail, James Donaldson from Northcote Park and Lorne’s Tom Steven.
However, whether it’s enough to cover the retirement Dale Carson and departures of Matt O’Dwyer (Barham-Koondrook) and James Edmonds (Yarraville-Seddon) is yet to be seen.
New Ocean Grove coach Jordan Jones has gone about building the Grubbers’ list with little fanfare.
Kurt Cole (Burleigh), Cory Connor (Sunshine), Lachie Meadows (Olinda Ferny Creek) and Steve Presani (Colac) are among the fresh faces confirmed at Ray Menzies Oval.
CONFIRMED PRACTICE MATCHES ANGLESEA
March 16: vs. St Albans @ Alcoa Oval
March 23: vs. Werribee Districts @ Alcoa Oval
March 30: vs. Rupertswood @ Alcoa Oval
March 7: vs. South Barwon @ Oakdene Estate
March 23: vs. Colac @ Central Reserve
March 30: vs. Cobden @ Howard Harmer Oval
March 2: vs. Thomson @ Drysdale Sports Precinct
March 16: vs. Grovedale @ Windsor Park
March 23: vs. Cobden @ Cobden
March 16: vs. Bell Park @ TBC
March 23: vs. Old Geelong @ KFC Oval
March 9: vs. Park Orchards @ Windsor Park
March 15: vs. Geelong West (GFL) @ Deakin University Elite Sports Precinct
March 23: vs. Camperdown @ Camperdown
March 17: Melton Centrals @ Oakdene Estate
March 23: vs. Fitzroy Stars @ Brunswick Street Oval
March 9: vs Geelong West (GFL) @ Oakdene Estate
March 23: vs. Camperdown @ Oakdene Estate
March 16: vs. Point Cook @ Point Cook
March 23: vs. West Coburg @ Ron Evans Oval
March 16: vs. Ballan @ TBC
March 23: vs. Mulgrave @ TBC
March 30: vs. Sorrento @ Queenscliff Recreation Reserve
March 6: vs. Bell Park @ Polwarth Oval
March 16: vs. Wallan @ Grenville Oval