Carey Park and South Bunbury enter Saturday’s twilight clash at Kelly Park on completely opposite ends of the football spectrum.
On one side you have South Bunbury, a formidable gunnery unit that is a real contender not only for the minor premiership, but also for the biggest prize of all on October 2nd.
Meanwhile, for Carey Park, it was another winter of discontent. As well as missing the Finals for another year despite having a decent squad and a host of talented colts, the Panthers are also recovering from a league coaching change.
In a written statement last Friday afternoon, Panthers club chairman Wayne Stewart announced that the club and league coach Brett Maguire had parted ways with immediate effect.
“It’s a decision that was not taken lightly, but we believe it’s the best outcome for both parties,” Stewart said.
“Brett had some kind of clarification of his position for the 2023 season, but the club were unable to renew him beyond 2022. We would like to thank Brett for his contribution to Carey Park Football Club and he wish all the best for the future. .”
Instead of appointing an interim coach for the rest of the season, the Panthers chose to split the responsibility between four men: Paul Lenaghan, Tim Verhaaf, Brenden Gadecki and Frank Italiano.
Ahead of the Tigers clash, Lenaghan told the South Western Times that several of the squad’s young players were keen to look good against quality opposition.
“We are a fairly young team,” he said. “And they (South Bunbury) are probably one of the most experienced teams in the league. We just need the youngsters to be responsible and stop their run – because once South Bunbury start running they are quite difficult to stop.
SWFL chief executive Jason Crowe has also confirmed that all court hearings – including those involving South Bunbury manager Julian Burgess and Eaton Boomers boss Darren Rigby – scheduled for this week have been postponed from seven days, as the chairman of the league court contracted COVID-19.