GVL | Seymour welcomes Euroa for ‘elimination final’, Tatura celebrates premiership reunions

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Back in action: Euroa star JD Hayes will make a return to the line-up for its clash with arch-rival Seymour on Saturday. Photo by Bruce Povey

This weekend marks the beginning of the second split round of the Goulburn Valley League season, with a trio of tantalising clashes set to treat football fans across the region.

The headline act is a blockbuster clash between arch-rivals Seymour and Euroa at Kings Park, with the Lions needing to win each of their last three games to be a chance of featuring in the finals.

Tatura will be hoping the presence of some of its legends will lift it to an upset win over Shepparton Swans, with the club celebrating it with a 10-year and 50-year premiership reunion at Tatura Park.

While Rochester will be looking to further consolidate its spot in the top six as it welcomes Shepparton United to Moon Oval.

Seymour v Euroa

After being outgunned by a youthful Mooroopna last weekend, there are no more second chances for seventh-placed Seymour.

Locked in a tight battle with Rochester and Kyabram for the remaining two spots in the top six, the Lions now enter a mini three-week finals series, with just one loss set to all but end their hopes of September action.

And first cab off the rank is a clash with fierce rival Euroa, with the red-hot Magpies determined to be the ones to put the final nail in the coffin that is the Lions 2022 season.

“It was disappointing to lose last weekend and it really makes this weekend an elimination final for us,” Seymour coach Ben Davey said.

“If we want to play finals we have to win on Saturday, simple as that, and even though we don’t have all our best players available we’re going to have to make do.

“Every player is going to have to do their bit and then some for us to come away with the win.”

One of the most storied rivalries in Goulburn Valley League football, Davey said Euroa is always a fixture Seymour people circle on the calendar, with his team desperate to make amends for a 28-point loss to the old foe back in round three.

“When the draw comes out we always immediately look to when we’re playing Euroa and having been rivals for a long time the games are always fierce,” he said.

“It doesn’t really matter where each team is on the ladder, it is always a hard-fought game, with all Seymour players wanting to play well against Euroa and all Euroa players wanting to play well against Seymour.”

For Euroa, this clash offers an opportunity to further cement itself into second spot on the ladder as the finals series quickly approaches.

But with the Lions playing for their season, coach Scott Rowan understands that his team will need to be at its very best to escape Kings Park with the four points.

“It is an elimination final for them, so we know we are going to face a very desperate and fired-up Seymour team and we will have to be switched on from the start,” Rowan said.

“We’re showing some really good signs at the moment, I wouldn’t say we are quite at our best yet, but I feel that we are tracking nicely and building well towards the finals.

“Seymour play their ground very well and I have no doubt it will be yet another really good contest against the Lions.”

On the selection front, Seymour will lose gun on-baller Nic Quigg to NAB League duties, while Nick Dundon will also go out of the side after suffering an injury against Mooroopna last week.

It is, however, hopeful of welcoming back veteran Ben Clifton and spearhead Michael Hartley for the do-or-die clash.

With livewire Jett Trotter being found not guilty at the tribunal on Wednesday night Euroa will have no key omissions from last week’s win over Shepparton United — and welcomes back former best and fairest winner JD Hayes.

Tatura v Shepparton Swans

Milestone man: B.J. Squire brings up his 100th for Shepparton Swans this weekend. Photo by Megan Fisher

It is set to be a massive day at Tatura Park as the Bulldogs celebrate their 10-year and 50-year premiership reunion against Shepparton Swans.

And after losing five of its past six games by over a 100 points, Tatura coach Paul Kirby hoped the presence of its presence would inspire a response by his team.

“Last week was one of our worst performances of the season and we need to respond,” he said.

“With a young group its always tough when you get to this part of the season, but we know we’ve got to bounce back. And the great thing this season is that whenever I’ve asked for a response the boys always do.

“It’s also a huge day for the club with our 10-year and 50-year premiership reunion on, as well as past players day, so we want to put in a big performance.”

The Swans were too slick for the Bulldogs last time out in round eight, prevailing by 77 in what was a wet weather contest at Princess Park.

“It’s a big game for us. They smashed us last time out with their run and speed,” Kirby said.

“They’ve been playing good footy and they’ve beaten some good sides so we know we are the underdogs.”

The visitors will have their own reasons for celebration this weekend, with skipper B.J. Squire chalking up his 100th game for the club and vice captain Nathan Rachele bringing up 50 games.

And after defeating cross-town rival Shepparton last week, Andrew Riordan’s side will be hoping to make it two in a row as they look to carry their bright form to the end of the season.

Rochester v Shepparton United

Leading from the front: Shepparton United will be looking for another stand-out performance by skipper Kyle Clarke across half-back. Photo by Aydin Payne

Rochester will be looking to give its percentage another healthy boost as it welcomes 12th-placed Shepparton United to Moon Oval.

After going through a mid-season lull, the Tigers have re-found their mojo over the past fortnight with a pair of big wins over Benalla and Tatura, and now find themselves back in the top six with three games to go in the home and away season.

For United, the final three weeks of the season is all about being competitive as it continues to blood its youth to the rigours of senior football.

Shepparton United coach Paul Serra said coming up against the class of Rochester would be another great learning curve.

“We’ve been at home for the last three with a couple of Shepp games, we’re looking forward to travelling over there and doing the best we can,” Serra said.

“They’re pretty slick through their midfield with Chris Jansen and Shaun Atley getting a lot of ball.

“We’ve got to make things as difficult as possible for them, hopefully we can put them on back foot and get ball our movement going and make it difficult for them to score.”

The Demons will be without reliable defender Shane Sali, who copped a one-game suspension from the tribunal on Wednesday night, with ruckman Ed Adams (knee) and vice captain Mitchell Roche (shoulder) also set to miss.

Murray Bushrangers duo Oscar Ryan and Charlie Di Stefano are also more than likely to make way for their NAB League commitments.