SWFL 2023: Nothing left to chance at Sir Stewart Bovell Park ahead of Lions clash

Headshot of Justin Fris
Justin FrisSouth Western Times
Busselton's Mitchell Tenardi is a hot favourite to win this year's Hayward Medal.
Camera IconBusselton's Mitchell Tenardi is a hot favourite to win this year's Hayward Medal. Credit: Justin Fris/South Western Times

Busselton’s senior players were put through their paces during an intense training session on Tuesday night at Sir Stewart Bovell Park.

From high-pressure drills to end of session sprints, Daniel Delaney’s side went through the wringer in a bid to be cherry-ripe for Sunday’s clash at Brunswick Oval against Harvey-Brunswick-Leschenault.

There is no room for excuses at the Magpies, who are eager to return to the top of the SWFL’s premiership summit later this year by not cutting any corners.

“Obviously if you have a club bye, you don’t want your guys to be slowing up — particularly at this point of the season,” Delaney said.

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“And it’s sort of the time to start ramping up training anyway, as we are nearing the second half of the season.

“It was a good, hard, training session over a couple of hours and the boys were pumped to get back into it again.

“Some of them really didn’t want the week off, but some of the older guys needed it.”

For Zac Pethybridge, playing on Lions spearhead Jarrod Humphries is likely to keep his hands full, however Delaney — who is a big fan of both players — backs his lynchpin defender in.

“He looks forward to these contests every week,” Delaney said.

“Zac is in really good form and has been building I think. He will be against a very good player (Humphries), who is someone I rate as highly as anyone in the competition.”

Reigning premiers Augusta-Margaret River will also be out to claim inaugural derby rights on Sunday at Dunsborough Playing Fields, when they square off against the Sharks.

It will be a pseudo home game for Hawks coach Matt Jamieson, who lives nearby, meaning his commute to the game will be significantly shorter than usual.

Bragging rights will also be on the line at Hands Oval, as South Bunbury go toe to toe with bitter rivals Bunbury, who are upbeat following their impressive 16-point win over Augusta-Margaret River on Sunday.

A number of Bulldogs youngsters — including Peter Woods, Trae Field and Taj Barnsby — have shown plenty of courage over the past month against more experienced opponents, so it will be a massive opportunity for them to shine on one of the biggest stages.

On Saturday, Donnybrook host Collie Eagles at VC Mitchell Park, while Carey Park take on the Harvey Bulls under lights at Kelly Park.

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