Aspley to play for Foxtel Cup berth

By Daniel McKenzie

Aspley will meet Belconnen in Round 1 of the NEAFL at Aspley on Saturday, with the match to double as a Foxtel Cup qualifier.             

The winner of the two, who were the highest ranked Northern and Eastern Conference state league clubs in 2013, will meet VFL powerhouse Williamstown on Tuesday May 20 at the MCG.

The Foxtel Cup, which begun in 2011 is a knockout tournament featuring 16 teams from across Australia’s state league competitions.

Teams qualify for the Foxtel Cup based on their finishing position in their previous state league season.

The Cup offers clubs the chance to be broadcast to a national audience in a primetime Tuesday night slot on the Fox Footy channel.

Aspley Hornets Football Manager Mark Perkins said that although the Foxtel Cup was an added incentive, the clubs focus was purely on Round 1.

“Winning the match is definitely the focus and the rest will take care of itself,” Perkins said.

“The Foxtel Cup is terrific but the four points are going to make the difference in the end, we get that then the Foxtel Cup is a massive bonus but there hasn’t been a lot of focus on it,” he said.

Belconnen Magpies Football Manager Peter Young agreed that although it was an incentive to qualify for the Foxtel Cup, the four points was the focus for the club.

“To us it’s round 1, it’s another game of footy. It would be nice (to qualify) for the Foxtel cup but we’ve just got to put it in perspective,” Young said.

Both clubs said that they had specific focus on what they believed would be the key to winning the match.

Perkins said that intensity and pressure would put Aspley in a good position to win.

“If we can bring the same pressure that we showed against the Lions a couple of weeks ago, that defensive pressure, we believe with that intensity we have the right mix of players to win the game,” he said.

Young said that the Magpies identified that the Hornet’s loved contested football so the player’s ability to break away from the contest would be the difference.

“We know that Aspley love bigger bodies and playing in close with contested footy,” Young said.

“We’re going to have to get our share of the footy in the contest then hopefully with the spread and run from our young list we’ll get something out of it,” he said.

With a lot of wet weather recently, both clubs had their own views on whether conditions would impact the match.

Young said that the club was confident in the wet and were looking more at the humidity as a factor.

We’ve been training in the wet which we feel gives us a bit, but the difference up there is the humidity so we’ll see how our boys handle that, that’s another challenge,” he said.

Perkins said although it’s been wet, he didn’t expect it to affect the outcome.

“With this weather that’s been coming in, I’m not sure if that will play a part, but our ground is holding up really well, “ he said.

“Unless it rains Saturday, I can’t see the ground being too wet if at all,” he said.

Both Aspley and Belconnen have had injuries in the pre-season and will be going into the match with a reduced list but both said they have a team that would match that of their opponents.

The match will be played at the Hornet’s home round in Graham Road with the bounce at

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