SEVERAL Wimmera footballers are preparing for grand finals this weekend across Australia.
First comes the Hampden League grand final between North Warrnambool and Koroit, who will be playing for a three-peat, it will also be Koroit’s sixth grand final on the trot.
This game will be played at Reid Oval on Saturday September 24 at 2pm.
Koroit boasts two former Edenhope-Apsley players, Tim Carter and Taylor Mulraney.
Mulraney has played in the last three premierships and Carter the previous five.
Carter said that he is looking forward to playing with the team on Saturday.
“I have never played against them personally so it will be something different,” he said.
“I don’t think we have been playing that well in this final series but we are going for the three-peat and I think we have enough experience to get over the line.”
Carter, 33, said he would like to go out with another premiership.
“It would be good to win another one,” he said.
“The professionalism of the club is great, there are a lot of good players up this way.
“It’s a very even competition, every player is a good player here.”
North Warrnambool boasts a former Horsham Saint and former Melbourne Demon Rory Taggert.
Former Horsham Demon Dylan Parish also plays for the Eagles.
Taggert has had an injury stricken 30 months playing for several different sides, now settling down after agreeing to a coaching role next year.
Taggert said he hopes he can top off this season with a premiership.
“It’s an unknown for us, we have never been in a grand final before so we don’t know exactly what to expect,” he said.
“When I arrived at the club they reminded me of the Saints, they have put in the hard yards and are now due for a premiership.
“It is a great club to be at.”
North Warrnambool have their seniors, reserves and under-18s playing in grand finals at the weekend.
Next we have the Millewa Football League senior grand final between Gol Gol and Bambill at Lake Cullulleraine on Saturday September 24 at 2.30pm.
Former Nhill Tiger Justin Merrett will represent with Bambill.
Bambill have been in five of the last six grand finals with three premiership wins.
This year the Saints will be going for a three-peat.
Merrett said he had only played in one grand final win back in 2011 for Bambill.
“I have moved around a bit and played back at Nhill in 2014,” he said.
“We have been undefeated all year but lost in the first final to Gol Gol by one point.
“We haven’t been playing well in finals but we are very confident.”
Merrett had friends at Bambill that persuaded him to play for the strong side.
“It will be a good achievement for the club, I can’t wait to play and hope I can get a good sleep on Friday night,” he said.
Two former Wimmera players will be facing off as captains when Port Douglas Crocs face the Southern Cairns Cutters in the AFL Cairns league on Saturday September 24 at 3pm .
The Crocs boast five former Wimmera footballers in their side but due to the reserves and seniors playing grand finals on the same day, not all will play together in the one match.
Kye Chapple is the captain of the Crocs and is a former Horsham Digger.
Other Wimmera products that ply their trade for the Crocs are James Wollermann who is a former Kees player, Ross McRae, who played for Horsham Demons and Kalkee, Jonathon Hobbs, who played for Kalkee, and Heath MacInnes, who played for Laharum.
Former Edenhope-Apsley player James Dixon will captain the Cutters for their second grand final in two years.
Dixon said that they will be looking to mend their 2015 loss.
“We beat Port Douglas in the first final of this year,” he said.
“They are the team to beat, I think we are mentally and physically prepared.
“We will just take it step by step.”
Dixon said the weather is different to play in Queensland compared to the Wimmera.
“It’s very hot and humid but it is a very high standard of football, there are players from all over Australia here,” he said.
“It is very interesting to see two Wimmera boys captaining a grand final in Queensland.
“We are ready to go, I think it will be a very good game.”
Chapple will be racing the clock to overcome a medial ligament strain for the AFL Cairns grand final.
Chapple has scored 105 majors this season.
2015 Toohey Medalist Billy Lloyd will be playing in the SANFL Reserves grand final at Adelaide Oval on Sunday September 25 at 11.15am.
Lloyd is a former Horsham Demon who won the Toohey medal playing just six games in 2015.
Lloyd has been named in the best seven times for North Adelaide, second highest out of everyone in the side.
Former Ararat Rat Lauchlan Dalgleish will also play in a grand final this weekend when he lines up for the Footscray Bulldogs in the VFL at Etihad Stadium on Sunday at 3pm.