U19 Div 1

Premier Division Preview: Round 2

The Students take on Pennant Hills this weekend after the demons secured two comfortable victories before the Easter break

This weekend, SUANFC’s Men’s and Women’s Premier Division teams will travel to Mike Kenny Oval to face Pennant Hills, who have started the season in impressive form. Both games will be broadcast live on Kayo as the AFL Sydney match of the round.

Men’s prems vs Pennant Hills at 2:40 pm:

The Men’s side is kicking off their campaign after an extended pre-season due to a round 1 bye. New head coach Matt Vicic is excited to see his team in action after a long summer and believes the bye could work to their advantage. “It’s been a challenging pre-season building up to this weekend. We’re looking forward to finally being able to put all our work into a competitive match and getting off to a good start. I think the bye worked in our favor; it allowed us some time to freshen up and address a few areas that needed work.”

The Students will need to match Pennant Hills’ physical game style that proved too much for St. George in round one. The Demons led at every change and recorded a 51-point win over the Dragons. Vicic is respectful of the in-form side but believes the Students are up for the “great challenge” and can put themselves in a position to win if they execute their game plan.

There are a number of exciting players who are expected to make an impact this year. Nick Lees, who missed much of last year with injury, is one to watch and will be an important player for the team this season. Max Kozlik, who has impressed in pre-season matches, is new to the club this season and has fit in nicely within the squad.

- Izzac Hughes in action vs Pennant Hills in 2022. Photo by Michelle Hauschild.

Women’s prems vs Pennant Hills at 12:40 pm:

After a narrow loss to Macquarie Uni Goannas last week, the SUANFC Women’s team is determined to bounce back against Pennant Hills at Mike Kenny Oval. Head coach Jon Dyster was happy with large parts of the performance, considering that the team had 10 new players. “Overall, we were happy with many aspects of our performance, such as the quality of some of our ball movement, but ultimately we didn’t connect when it counted most. With 10 girls playing their first game in our side, we knew that was always going to be a challenge, but take nothing away from our opposition who were very good around the stoppages and outworked us to get forward and score.”

Pennant Hills dominated Southern Power in round 1 with their outside speed. The Demons produced an impressive performance to win by 62 points, and Dyster knows the Students will need to counter their outside ball movement to secure a win. “Pennant Hills played well in their match before Easter. They used their outside speed to create plenty of chances to score and made them count. From what we saw, it was a pretty good performance right across the board, and it will give them a lot of confidence in their game plan.”

- Lou Stephenson flies for a mark against Pennant Hills in 2022. Photo by Michelle Hauschild.

The women’s program has been bolstered by a number of young players joining the club through its junior pathways. Emma Walsh is an exciting young player and Glebe local who impressed at prems level last year and was best on ground against Macquarie Uni in round 1. She will be one to watch on Saturday against the Demons. A number of AFLW and academy-listed players have also joined the club this year, and some of them are part of the SUSF’s Elite Athlete program. Sophia Hurley, Swans AFLW, and Zara Hamilton, Giants AFLW, are a couple of names to look out for as they look to have a big impact on the team.

Whether you make the trip to Mike Kenny Oval or tune in on Kayo, this weeks Premier Division fixtures are a must watch as our top sides battle to secure some important early season wins!