EAGLEHAWK will be aiming to cap an unbeaten run and achieve the men’s division one championship-knockout cup double in tomorrow’s grand final against Colts United at California Gully’s Truscott Reserve.
The Hawks will start hot favourite to win the Bendigo Media Centre-backed Knockout Cup, but will be without key playmakers Keegan Smyth and Mark McGregor because of suspension.
Colts have a full list to choose from and striker Dylan Callaway is back on the pitch.
An intriguing contest will be Eaglehawk’s defence against Colts strikers Callaway and Zac Kinsman.
The Hawks’ back four of Tristan Evans, Col Samuel, Chris Hopley and Connor Smyth have conceded just nine goals this season.
Callaway and Kinsman have combined for almost 40 goals and their pace and skill will test the Borough defence all match.
Colts United midfielder Jacob McDonald sets up many attacks with his superb passing skills and his duel with Simon Doherty will be one to watch.
Despite missing some key players, the Alf Longano-coached Eaglehawk has great depth and class of Shane Eleveld, Simon Doherty and Dane Butler through midfield and closer to goal.
Eaglehawk has many players who have contested finals, while it will be the first play-off for the majority of the Phil Berry-coached Colts United.
Squads for the division one Knockout Cup final:
Eaglehawk – Tristan Evans, Colin Samuel, Chris Hopley, Connor Smyth, Daniel Kelly, Toli Wanefalea, Simon Doherty, Shane Eleveld, Tom Mitchell, Yan Butler-Rees, Dane Butler, Zac Samuel, Sam McCloud, Justin Warren and Nathan Hamblin.
Colts United – Trent Dole, Adam Castleton, Marcus Wheadon, Gerard O’Shea, Joel Gitsham, Jacob McDonald, Daniel Petrolito, Gary Pratt, Zac Kinsman, Dylan Callaway, Ben Langan, Daniel Berry, Phil Berry and Lachlan Miller.
In division two, Strathdale will tackle Eaglehawk.
A strong Hawks’ line-up includes Justin Warren, Jason Drew, Sean Allen, Brent Mitchell, Sam McCloud and the experienced Mat Schepers and Chris Harvey.
Strathdale was runner-up to the Hawks in the championship and will be desperate to win the Cup.
The Blues have Elia Andrews and Nathan Sartori, who have had seasons interrupted by injury, available for this match.
Strath’s rising stars such as Sam Farr, Lonain Burnett and Lewis Ellis have played well all season.
Eaglehawk and Castlemaine meet in the men’s over-35s at 9.30am.
The day’s play kicks off at 9am when Colts United tackle Eaglehawk, which has the leading goalscorers, Nathan Hamblin and Shaun Thompson, in the youth final.
Colts United stunned the championship-winning Strathdale in the semi-finals and has midfielder-forward Jacob Moon starring.