Shady Punter - Men's Grand Final Preview
They say that all good things must come to an end, and season 2015 is no exception.
The West Island Wooders and Montreal Demons will go head-to-head on Sunday in the showpiece event of the AFL Quebec season under bright skies and even brighter hopes of lifting the coveted Premiership Cup.
Whilst the two teams’ journey to this day couldn’t be more different, the style of football both teams play are eerily similar.
In a season which has been the most competitive in AFL Quebec history, the Wooders have once again shown that they are the benchmark, backing up their dominant 2014 campaign by securing the minor premiership and then converting their opportunity at the qualifying final into another Grand Final berth following a tough win against the Dockers in the wet.
The Demons, on the other hand, have been the big improver in season 2015. If they weren’t the laughing stock of 2014, then they were a close second (the 1st being a certain prolific Bombers ball winner’s bouncing technique). Coach O’Farrell, who moonlights as a dog walker, showed faith in a strong draft and nailed their selections, adding a slew of talented players including Tree, Michelmore, Ingersole, Carnevale, Brandstater, Purdie and others.
Structurally, the Demons and Wooders go in almost identically. Both have key full forwards who are hard to stop when in full flight (Graham and Petosa), both have dominant big men in the ruck (Whyte and Manassa) and both have hard-at-it negating full backs (Pouessel and Payne).
What does differentiate the two sides is undoubtedly the midfield makeup. The Dees go in big in the midfield, with Michelmore and Tree both spending high minutes in the guts for the Demons, whilst the Wooders favour a smaller, more-mobile fleet of mids, which include the ever dangerous league-medal favourite Robinson, Houvian and Chemin.
The question of which midfield structure is more suited to Grand Final football is a question that can only be answered at full time on Sunday. But because we live in a time of instant gratification, I have asked the Shady Goldfish to decide:
When pressed why Shady Goldfish thinks the Demons will win, he had this to say:
“The Dees’ overall strength in the contest – owing to the fact that they have the bigger bodies in the midfield – is made for September football. Whilst I expect the Wooders to come out all guns blazing, and leading early in the match, over the course of four quarters I can see the Demons wearing them down and leaving a bloodied and bruised Wooders in their wake, en route to the 2015 AFL Quebec Premiership. Demons by 13 points.”
So there you have it folks. Good luck to all participants on Sunday and as ever – happy punting!