2024 weekly wrapWeekly Wrap | A quiet weekend on field this week with only 19 leagues in action across Victorian as most took a mid season bye before the run home to the finals.

As per usual though, there was plenty of off field news happening during the week. Maryborough FNC, who have been battling their way through the past few seasons in the Bendigo FNL, have announced they are looking for a new home in 2025. Ideally they are looking at joining the Maryborough Castlemaine District FNL and are also looking at the Central Highlands FNL as another alternative.

As we shared a couple of weeks ago, Narre Warren FNC has announced its intention to leave the Outer East FNL at the end of the current season. Now another Outer East FNL club is looking for a new home in 2025. The states newest stand alone country footy team, Berwick Springs FNC who formed in 2020, has signalled an intention that they would like to join the Southern FNL after the majority of club members voted on the move.

Another club has fallen foul of salary cap rules with immediate consequences that will impact their current season. Sunraysia FNL club Robinvale Euston FNC have had 12 points stripped from the 2024 ladder as well as copping a $15,000 fine and losing 6 points from their player allocations for next season. At this point in time the club is considering its options regarding an appeal.

To matters on field, it was former Crow and Blue Eddie Betts who suited up for the Wangaratta Rovers FNC in their clash against Wodonga Raiders FNC. Betts starred in a best on ground performance, kicking five goals in his side's 74 point win, including a trademark banana from the boundary in front of a packed crowd who came to see the star play in the Ovens and Murray FNL Indigenous Round. Whilst this was a one off appearance Rovers coach, former Swan and Magpie Sam Murray, is hoping to convince Betts to run around again later in the season. This weekend also saw former triple premiership Crow and inaugural Port Adelaide AFLW captain, Erin Phillips line up for Marong FNC in their Central Victoria Women's FL match against Golden Square FNC.

Interleague action took centre stage this weekend when several leagues lined up against each other. The Ballarat FNL coached by former Carlton star Anthony Koutoufides were too strong the Hampden FNL side coached by former Lions Jonno Brown, running out 31 point winners 11.15 81 to 7.8 50. The combined Central Murray FNL & Golden Rivers FNL side was far too strong for the Sunraysia FNL having a big
12.14 86 to 2.8 20 victory while the Bendigo FNL lost to a VAFA Premier B division three Big V team by in a much closer contest, 12.13 85 to 10.12 72.

The states longest active country footy winning streak came to an end this weekend in the Loddon Valley FNL where the all conquering run of 43 straight loses by Marong FNC, came to a halt when they went down to Pyramid HIll FNC 11.5 71 to 9.12 66. Ironically it was Pyramid Hill who last beat the Panthers way back in Round 4 of the 2022 season. While this winning streak ended, a long running losing streak also came to its conclusion when Hill End FNC in the Mid Gippsland FNL finally got to sing their song with an 11 point win over Boolarra FNC. This breaks a run of 29 consecutive losses that spans all the way back to July 2022.

Barnawartha FNC’s Jack Chesser led all forwards with a bag of 18 this weekend against Dederang Mt Beauty FNC in the Tallangatta FNL, however the goal kicking focus this week was if we could get our first century goal kicker for the season. With four players sitting in the 90’s, a quirk of fate left only one with a realistic shot. Long time leader Josh Mellington is still out with a hamstring injury, while the current overall leader Strathmerton FNC’s Tim Looby and another in contention, James Lloyd from Murchison-Toolamba FNC, both had a week off due to their leagues general byes. This left Bridgewater FNC’s Lachlan Sharp the only realistic chance to reach 100, as he entered the round on 91. It took until the 10 minute mark of the final quarter for Sharp to kick his ninth and hit the 100 mark for the season.

Looby now sits second overall on 97 goals for the season, with Mellington stuck in third place on 93 and Lloyd two behind him on 91. Lloyd faces fifth placed Stanhope FNC next weekend requiring nine goals, while Looby will only need to kick the three required against ninth placed Mathoura FNC in their Picola and District FNL clash.

Weekly Wrap Week15 2024 1