FAMILIAR FINALS SERIES

SHOWDOWN: Sandhurst and Gisborne meet in Sunday's qualifying final at the QEO.

SHOWDOWN: Sandhurst and Gisborne meet in Sunday's qualifying final at the QEO.

LW: Bourkey, five teams have fallen by the wayside and now it's left to Strathfieldsaye, Sandhurst, Gisborne, Golden Square and Eaglehawk to fight it out for the Bendigo Football League premiership.

It's the same five clubs that contested last year's BFL finals.

And it's the same five clubs that are featured in the reserves and under-18s finals as well.

AB: As good as this BFNL season has been, the fact the same five clubs are in all three grades of football finals is a major concern.

Kyneton hasn't had a team in the finals in any grade of football for the past six years.

In the same period Castlemaine's only representation in football finals was the under-18s in 2010.

Maryborough played finals in the seniors and reserves in 2010, while Kangaroo Flat has been marginally better with seniors and reserves in 2009 and under-18s in 2012.

That's not healthy when you're looking at the overall strength of the league.

LW: It has been said for a number of years now that the country clubs in Maryborough, Castlemaine and Kyneton are constantly finding it difficult to keep pace with the Bendigo-based clubs.

Looking back over the past six seasons across football and netball going back to 2009, Kyneton (seven), Maryborough (six) and Castlemaine (four) have combined for just 17 teams in the finals.

In comparison, every other club has had at least 18 football and netball teams in the finals, with Sandhurst and Golden Square leading the way with 40 each.

Go back over the past six years of the senior football finals when 28 of the 30 spots have been filled by the same six clubs in either Golden Square, Eaglehawk, Sandhurst, Strathfieldsaye, South Bendigo and Gisborne.

That's the sort of unbalance that is being looked into at the moment in terms of the potential player points system to try to level the playing field out among the clubs.

AB: The points system won't do much short-term, but long term it might be the answer.

We've got two cracking BFNL finals this weekend. I'm tipping Golden Square to sneak home against Eaglehawk and Sandhurst to defeat Gisborne.

In saying that, I wouldn't be surprised if the results went the other way.

Sunday's game intrigues me most of all. I'm very keen to see how Sandhurst bounces back from last week's poor performance.

LW: You wouldn't want to be the losing team on Sunday.

The next week you're either going to come up against the September specialist Golden Square, or an Eaglehawk side that will well and truly have its tail up.

Straight sets anybody?

FINALS TEAMS SINCE 2009:

Sandhurst 40

Golden Square 40

Gisborne 33

Eaglehawk 27

Kangaroo Flat 26

Strathfieldsaye 24

South Bendigo 18

Kyneton 7

Maryborough 6

Castlemaine 4

CLUB WINS SINCE 2009:

Sandhurst 634

Golden Square 579

Gisborne 463

Kangaroo Flat 460

Eaglehawk 439

Strathfieldsaye 401

South Bendigo 361

Maryborough 196

Kyneton 184

Castlemaine 147

* Stats cover football and netball. Club wins are only home and away games.

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