Old foes face off

September 09, 2017

Underdogs: Strikers' Tim Russell hopes his side can dethrone Michael Neilsen's SYC side from third position.

All aboard.

Well, the Shepparton Strikers will be hoping the McBain Train is up and running during today’s Goulburn Valley Hockey Association.

The Strikers meet old foes and table-topper Shepparton Youth Club today in the highly-anticipated men’s A-Grade grand final.

Nathan, James and Xavier McBain all starred during the Strikers victory against Echuca last week and Tim Russell hopes the ever present family can deliver again.

‘‘Anything is possible with the McBains,’’ Russell said.

‘‘They were super last week, hopefully, they can score again and we all can contribute to getting the win.’’

The Strikers prevented SYC from going back-to-back last season and Michael Neilsen is hoping to atone for that.

‘‘We have a little grudge to settle, we thought we were going okay, but we got walked over in the preliminary final,’’ Neilsen said.

‘‘We want to atone for that, it really knocked us back and it has been a real driving force for us this season.

‘‘Every time we play Strikers it is a really good match, it is usually a fantastic contest.’’

Matt Irwin and Jon Neilsen are expected to play a huge part in today’s decider with the duo having slotted 11 and eight goals respectively, while Connor Holland, 16, will be hoping to deliver on the big stage.

The budding star, who has represented Victoria, will be hoping to add to his seven goals this campaign.

In a battle between first and third, the Strikers are yet to taste success against SYC and Russell is hoping that can change.

‘‘They have been tight battles, both teams know each other extremely well, so there is genuinely not much between us,’’ Russell said.

‘‘Hopefully, we can come away with the victory in front of our fans supporting the red and blue attire.’’

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