BY JACK KOVACIC.
Coburg will kick off their 2018 season at home this Sunday at 1pm when they take on Casey Demons.
The match will be captain Tom Goodwin’s 50th VFL game, while returning small forward Billy Cannolo and new faces James Belo, Josh Fox, Lochlan Dickson, Josh Guthrie, Jack Murphy, Jake Page, Marcus Lentini and Max-Mitchell Russell (23rd man) look to potentially make their Coburg VFL debuts. All these players have featured throughout the practice games, where the Lions have shown some good signs ahead of the season proper.
Leigh ‘Patch’ Adams will be coaching in his first VFL game, after a successful stint with South Croydon (Eastern Football League). Adams has brought a new game plan to the club, and you can expect to see the young Lions running harder and taking the game on more.
After taking out the 2017 Jim Sullivan medal and being selected in the VFL Team of the Year, on-baller Liam Hunt has again been impressive following a strong pre-season. In last week’s final practice match, Hunt picked up 26 disposals while also going forward to slot three goals.
On Sunday, the midfield will be one of the most experienced areas on the ground for Coburg, as Goodwin will give first use to Hunt, Hisham Kerbatieh and Nick Mellington.
In terms of the opposition, the Demons have named a side with plenty of AFL-listed players, headlined by Jayden Hunt and Angus Brayshaw. Casey recorded a big win in their last practice match, beating Frankston by 111 points in a dominant display, while Mitch Hannan and Brayshaw will both need to be watched closely in the midfield.
Coburg play four of their first five games of season 2018 on home-soil at Piranha Park, and a good performance this weekend will help them get off to a good start.
B: N. Blair, L. Dickson, R. Exon
HB: J. Iacobaccio, S. Gregory, J. Murphy
C: B. Allan, L. Hunt, J. Corigliano
HF: B. Cannolo, J. Belo, S. Lowson
F: M. Lentini, J. Fox, J. Svarc
R: T. Goodwin, N. Mellington, H. Kerbatieh
Int: C. Byrne, T. Condon, J. Guthrie, H. Nolan, J. Page, A. Tilley, T. Wallis, J. Weightman
23P: M. Mitchell-Russell
B: D. Johnstone, D. Keilty, H. Petty
HB: M. Hannan, C. Pedersen, J. Hunt
C: O. Baker, C. Maynard, B. Stretch
HF: J. Kennedy-Harris, J. Smith, C. Spargo
F: L. Filipovic, S. Weideman, T. Smith
R: M. King, A. Brayshaw, H. Balic
Int: J. Briggs, M. Gent, M. Lefau, J. Lockhart, J. Munro, A. Scott, C. Wagner, M. White
23P: M. Lewis