Interleague Top 20 Spot on the Line
LEXTON Plains and Maryborough Castlemaine District will look to press their case for inclusion inside the Victorian Country Football League's top-20 ranked teams in Saturday's interleague bout.
The two leagues will lock horns for the second successive year this weekend, following the Lexton Plains' 99-point triumph 12 months ago.
Following the restructure to the VCFL Country Championships for 2010-11, coaches Wayne Driscoll (Lexton Plains) and Geoff Dixon (Maryborough Castlemaine District) expressed their desire to break into the top-20 bracket at yesterday's interleague media conference.
Last year's revamp saw both leagues left out of the 20-team system, in which leagues clash in terms of rankings and move up and down based upon results.
Four district leagues were drafted into the major league competition that includes the Ballarat Football League.
"We were very disappointed that we weren't included in that. From where we sit we thought our league was well qualified as one of the final two leagues," Driscoll said.
"I'm not sure why a 99-point win (over Maryborough Castlemaine last year) didn't qualify us to be honest. But that was their (VCFL) decision and I suppose we have to continue to be impressive and see if we can win on Saturday."
"From my understanding it is a closed issue already, so the team that have finished 20th is the team that will play in it next year," Driscoll said.
"I'm actually disappointed that wasn't reviewed as well."
Dixon, who is coaching interleague for the first time, said the Maryborough Castlemaine District league was just as desperate to move up the pecking order.
"We're fighting like billyo just like the Lexton Plains - we want to get in that 20 as well," he said.
"I think there is a fair stink if you're not in it."
But Dixon's immediate task is to avenge last year's embarrassing defeat at Ballarat's Eastern Oval.
The former Carisbrook premiership coach said the league had hurt after the humiliating loss in 2009, and just five players from last year's squad were among the 2010 team.
"I don't want to bring up last year - it is a new year and a new side. It's about pride and doing the best we can," Dixon said.
"It's a completely different side."
Dixon was wary of the potent Lexton Plains forward-line, which could include the league-leading forwards Tim Beacham (Skipton) and Shaun Mullane-Grant (Rokewood-Corindhap) when the final side is announced at the final
training session tonight.
Driscoll said Saturday's team would have a similar feel to the one he coached in last year's success.
He has named Skipton's Kiernan Molloy as captain, while Campbells Creek player Matt Peake is the Maryborough Castlemaine District skipper.
The senior interleague clash, which follows under-14 and under-16 football matches, is held at Maryborough's Princes Park.
Article: Tim O'Connor Ballarat Courier. Picture Lachlan Bence