The midfield is where opposition teams could shoot down Kyabram’s incredible dominance.
The Bombers have not lost a Goulburn Valley League game since the 2015 grand final and are red-hot favourites to win back-to-back premierships for the first time since 1928.
For such a powerful club, Kyabram’s inability to string flags together in the modern era is quite surprising.
But the black and red army has never been better placed to achieve that feat and bring a consecutive cup back to town.
Paul Newman’s side built its record-breaking season last year on its amazing forward and back halves and will do so again.
Newman himself has gone out of the forward line after one of the best careers in league history, finishing off in fashion fitting of a legend.
While his X-factor will be missed on the field, the Bombers still easily pose the most danger around goals of any side in the competition.
Kayne Pettifer has not lost any of his touch after winning the league goal-kicking last year, VFL premiership hero Billy Burstin can get off the chain at any time to kick a bag, small forward Hayden Gemmill was superb in last year’s finals series, while Jason Morgan and Brad Edwards are a threat at either end of the ground.
Former AFL-listed players Patrick Wearden and Brad Mangan have come back to the club this year and will make their mark no matter where they play on the ground.
Wearden produced a best-on-ground display in the Bombers’ demolition of Shepparton Swans in round one across half-back, while Mangan created play up forward and through the midfield.
Mangan has played as a defender for large parts of his career, but his inclusion, along with Wearden, makes Kyabram’s first-choice team arguably stronger than last year.
You go to the other end of the ground and you have superstar Lachie Smith, Wilf Cox medallist Rhys Clark, decorated premiership skipper Josh Vick, along with fine players in Liam Barrett and Tom Holman.
But a team such as Seymour has Ferraris parked in its midfield garage and could exploit the Bombers through the centre.
The Lions almost got them in a game at Kyabram last year through the influence of Brandyn Grenfell, Jason Cole, Brett Meredith and Andrew Sturgess, but were unable to break down the defensive Great Wall of China.
This year Seymour has brought in Saad Saad to its forward line, while also adding key defenders Hugh Robertson and Brent Ryan.
Kyabram’s midfield is strong, but it is not far and away so much better than other sides like its attack and defence.
Jake Reeves is an outstanding ruckman and will return soon, with young gun Zac Norris doing the job in his absence, while Jordan Williams is a class onballer.
It is going to be fascinating to see how Shepparton’s centre square department stacks up with Kyabram’s tomorrow night.
The Bears have recruited former VFL players Dave Stretton and Ben Davies to bolster the midfield and will be out to run Kyabram off its feet to get on top through speed.
The gap between Kyabram and the rest of the competition has closed, but is it enough to prevent more black and red glory come September?