By Daniel Atamian
Where and When:
Piranha Park, Coburg
Saturday 3rd July 1pm
Last time they met:
First time the two clubs will meet after Carlton and Northern Blue (Northern Bullants) alignment ended and Carlton brought in it’s own reserves program.
In previous outings the Carlton Reserves side had an alignment with the Preston/ Northern Bullants/Blues until the Covid pandemic in 2020 placed financial strains leading ultimately to a difficult decision by Carlton to end their affiliation and branch out on their own.
Form in 2021:
The Lions suffered a another loss last week, this time to the undefeated and VFL powerhouse; Footscray Bulldogs, who would go on to extend their streak to 7-0 to remain on top of the ladder. With two wins to their name and some key games coming up the Lions will look to move up the ladder in hopes of being able to scrap into the Top 8 for finals from their current position at 18th out of the 22 team competition. There will be no beter time than now for the Lions who have had the return of home games at Piranha Park circled in their calendars since redevelopments had begun and with the return of crowds there’s no better way to welcome the Lions faithful back to “The Den”.
The Blues slowed down in recent rounds after starting off red hot with a 1 point loss to South Port in Round 1 to then go out and beat the reigning (Now Defunct) NEAFL Premiers by 69 points in Round 2. A run of Top 8 clubs saw the Blues toppled and last weeks match against former VFL-AFL alignment side Northern Bullants saw “Ants” go marching in for their first victory of the 2021 season and first since returning as a stand alone club in what would of made the win even sweeter for the Bullants.
Corigliano V Honey
The longest active servant to the Lions has made a name for himself in the Backline since playing in the VFL, and with the ability to play on Small, Medium and at times Tall Forwards we can expect to see “Rigga” spend some time on Carlton’s AFL listed Forward Josh Honey who will be looking to make a big impact to gain a call up to the Blues AFL side which has been stricken down with multiple injury concerns and issues.
Bunker V Carroll
Last years second round draft pick for the Blues; Jack Carroll, will be trying his best for an opportunity to be called and to the Carlton AFL side to make his AFL debut. He will look to get the ball in his hands as much as possible as the youngster only managed 9 disposals against the Bullants, Carroll will be wanting to make a splash this week as a bounce back game.
The man known as Bunks has somewhat become a bit of a cult hero amongst the “Burgers” faithful and with a good footballing brain and natural talent for tackling, be sure to keep an eye out for Bunker to keep Carrolls impact in the game to a minimum as he looks to hold and climb the VFL stats leaders board from 3rd to 1st for most tackles in the competition.
Look out for:
Corey Ellis will make his way back into the side for Josh Guthrie after spending the last few rounds on the side lines due to injury. A classy midfielder with AFL experience, Ellis will no doubt be eager to get back out on the field and what better way to make his return to play than in front of a home crowd at Piranha Park. His on field leadership will no doubt help the Lions find the poise and calm to deliver if they find themselves with their Backs against the walls .
With eight (8) AFL listed players selected to play at Piranha Park, the “Baggers” will be looking to make amends for losing last weeks game at Preston and start their climb back up the VFL ladder and have their players up for selection if they can deliver a strong performance against the Burgers.
Coburg have had a hit a bit of a rough patch with injuries, playing multiple weeks away form home nail biting loses will be looking to get back on the winners train as they look to christen their new facilities by belting out their theme songs loud and proud after a win.