QFA Division 4 Preview
Zillmere v Sandgate
North side rivals Zillmere and Sandgate are set to face off one last time in 2017, though this time the stakes are as high as they’ll get. Zillmere has been the standout side all season, losing only twice, but both of those losses came at the hands of the proud Hawks.
Both teams look like they’ve fielded lineups with plenty of experience, so the players will be well aware of what’s required of them in a grand final and be prepared to attack the footy with desperation from the first bounce.
Sandgate player coach Simon Cannan is pretty sure his players won’t need any extra motivation to throw themselves at the contest.
“For our group, we’ve got a lot of guys (for whom) this will be their last year of footy,” said Cannan.
“You work all year for a shot at playing in a grand final in your last year of footy and I don’t think they need any winding up or encouragement.”
Sandgate forward Aaron Widt comes into the contest in ripping form, having booted four in last Friday’s preliminary final to drag the Hawks over the line against the Western Magpies in a tight encounter. Widt finished the season as the competition’s second highest goal kicker. He knows how to hurt the opposition on the scoreboard and will require some close attention from the Eagles defense.
Michael Brady is a crucial cog for the Hawks through the middle, while mobile ruckman Jaques Badenhorst can be damaging if he can collect some footy around the ground. Off half back Sandgate look to Rowan Moody to provide plenty of run and drive, creating opportunities with his footy smarts.
Zillmere earned a week off, so should be fresh heading into the big game, and in good form too, after beating the Western Magpies in their first final by five points. Ball winner Zac Molan will be important for the Eagles in the clinches, having been named in the best-on nine occasions this season, as will Dennis Fitzgerald in the ruck duel with Badenhorst.
“I reckon our midfield is probably our strongest attribute, I think we bat pretty deep through the middle,” said Zillmere coach Ben Long.
“We’re going to be pretty well as close to full strength as we could be, which we’re really looking forward to.”
Zillmere vs. Sandgate: Giffin Park (oval 1) 7.30 pm