Home' South Gippsland Sentinel-Times : March 28, 2017 Edition Contents PAGE 30 - THE SOUTH GIPPSLAND SENTINEL-TIMES, TUESDAY, MARCH 28, 2017
AS WE saw in Round 1 of the AFL across
the weekend, it could take some time for the
players to adjust to new rules that have been
These include the ban of the third man up
in ruck contests and the new interpretation of
the high tackle, where a player who tries to
draw high contact will no longer be protected.
These rules will also come into play at a lo -
South Gippsland Umpires Association trea-
surer Tim Kemp said the association will meet
with coaches from all of the local clubs to run
them through the new interpretations.
“These meetings also help build relation-
ships between the umpires and the clubs,”
The umpires were put through a gruelling
session last Wednesday night by AFL bound-
ary umpire Chris Roberts who was there for
the season launch afterwards at the Leongatha
Tim said the association has excellent ju-
nior boundary umpire numbers and many are
pushing into the senior ranks, including some
of the girls.
“We’ve retained all of our field umpires and
we have some younger ones coming through as
well which is what we want.”
Among the top young umpires is Doug Man-
carella who has been selected to officiate at the
Under 16 Championships which is the feeder
competition for the TAC Cup.
Tim said the new structure of local football
could create some logistical challenges with an
extra league to cover, but he’s confident these
can be worked through.
Tim is coaching the boundary umpires this
season and Gary Scholz is the field umpire
Graham Laird is again the association presi-
10 Radovick Street, Korumburra 3950
H Diagnosis and treatment of
sports related injuries
l CLINICAL PILATES
l RADIAL SHOCKWAVE
HIGHLY-REGARDED Gippsland footballer
Tom McQualter has been appointed coach of
the West Gippsland Football Netball Compe -
tition’s inaugural senior interleague football
McQualter, who spent the majority of
his successful playing career at Traralgon,
played for Inverloch-Kongwak last year and
couldn’t resist what he described as a “gold-
“The chance to work with the best play-
ers from two leagues combined together in a
new competition was too good to pass up,”
“In my mind there is an opportunity for
this competition to become one of, if not the
premier league in Gippsland and really ri-
val the Gippsland League over the next 10
“We want to lift the profile of interleague
across multiple years and being a new
league there is an outstanding opportunity
to show how high the quality of football be -
ing played in West Gippsland is. ”
McQualter’s brother Andrew played 94
AFL games for St Kilda and Gold Coast –
including three grand finals with the Saints
before taking on a coaching role at Rich-
mond, and Tom was planning to use those
sorts of connections to benefit players in
“Interleague footy is always a challenge to
get people excited and motivated about it
and what I would love to bring to the West
Gippy interleague program is some excite -
ment and some fun but also some real op-
portunity to be exposed to elite football, ” he
“Whether it’s AFL clubs or other elite
sporting organisations, players not only
get the chance to play interleague but learn
more about how elite players operate and
go about it. ”
West Gippsland has been drawn away to
Riddell and District Football Netball League
for its maiden Worksafe Community Cham-
pionships fixture on Saturday, May 13.
With just five rounds of home and away
matches prior to that game, McQualter was
keen to tap into the knowledge of coaches
and key figures from across the competition
and has already appointed Cora Lynn senior
coach David Main as an assistant coach.
“If we put our best team on the park and
play good, exciting footy we’re probably go -
ing to be good enough to compete with any-
body... and hopefully we have good involve -
ment from each of the clubs,” he said.
THERE’S a sense of the unknown as local
footy and netball clubs across South Gippsland
start their 2017 campaigns.
With the new structure of leagues, it will be
hard for clubs to gauge where they stand until a
few rounds have been played.
The West Gippsland competition is an exciting
new league, with a number of successful Alber-
ton and Ellinbank clubs joining together to form
a strong competition.
Clubs are aware there will be no easy games
throughout the season, and have recruited ac-
cordingly to be competitive.
The new competition kicked off on Saturday
with Inverloch-Kongwak defeating three-time
Ellinbank premiers Cora Lynn at Cora Lynn, in
a sign of the unpredictability of the debut sea-
The rest of the competition will start this
weekend, with a full round of Saturday matches.
After the controversial league changes, the
Alberton Football Netball League’s officials and
clubs have vowed to fight on and make the most
of the competition.
Alberton has been reduced from 12 teams to
a seven-team comp, which will no doubt give
teams greater opportunity for success.
Alberton will also start this weekend with
three matches. Stony Creek has the bye.
Ellinbank clubs will have to wait another week
before their season begins on Saturday April 8,
with Nyora and Poowong set to be more com-
petitive in the 10-team competition.
The Gippsland League will also kick off on
April 8, with Leongatha hosting Bairnsdale and
Wonthaggi travelling to Traralgon.
New territory for local clubs
AFL boundary umpire Chris Roberts, left, led the South Gippsland Umpires Association
training session last Wednesday night before the official season launch. He’s with Murray
Lynch, Doug Mancarella, Liam O’Neill and Brandon Embry. N011317
Umpires keeping up
with the changes
Newly-appointed West Gippsland senior interleague football coach Tom McQualter is
welcomed by AFL Gippsland senior league operations coordinator Jason Membrey.
McQualter takes West Gippy interleague reins
DWWWW has seen a number of key players
move on from the club, but coach Scott An-
dersen is confident their replacements can
more than fill the void.
Headlining the new recruits is goalkicking
machine Kael Bergles, who has a knack of
winning games off his own boot and has had
a great pre-season including nine goals in a
practice match against Morwell.
He booted 96 goals for Kilcunda-Bass in
19 matches last season, 65 in 16 matches
for Kambalda in Western Australia in 2015,
83 in 15 matches for Kilcunda-Bass in 2014
and 121 goals in 20 matches in Kilcunda-
Bass’ 2013 premiership.
Cora Lynn 2016 premiership player Chris
McKay is a tough midfielder who has joined
the club as assistant coach, while Narre War-
ren’s Tait Sabec, Cameron McKenzie and
Jake Weightman look like handy inclusions.
Star midfielder Darcy Atkins has had a big
pre - season and new captain Jimmy Phillips
will be looking to emulate his 2016 form
which saw him take out the Allies’ best and
2016 best and fairest
Kael Bergles (Kilcunda-Bass), Chris McKay
(Cora Lynn), Tait Sabec (Narre Warren), Cameron
McKenzie (Narre Warren), Jake Weightman (Narre
Warren), Lucas Mackenzie (Cranbourne), Kieran
Byers (Fish Creek).
Daniel Batson, Justin Marriott, Ryan Marriott,
Stephen Richards-Gill, Nick Pollock, Shaun Butt-
Lleyton Sketcher played a couple of senior
games as a 16 year-old last year and looks like
becoming a permanent fixture in the senior side.
Jackson Nolan will spend more time in the mid-
field after gaining senior experience last season.
DWWWW’s new recruits for 2017 Kieran Byers, Chris McKay, Kael Bergles, Mehdi Daoud,
Jake Weightman, Lucas McKenzie, Cameron McKenzie, Ben Cherry, Luke Fakos, Martin Al-
lan, Jaydan Arter, Tait Sabec and John Mentiplay, with Allies coach Scott Andersen.
covered by new stars
2017 FOOTBALL NETBALL PREVIEW
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