GRAND finalists Warrnam-bool and Koroit will open the Hampden football league’s pre-season cup competition next month.
The Blues, which claimed a 37-point win in September’s grand final, face last year’s pre-season premier Koroit in the first match of the March 15 round-robin tournament at Port Fairy’s Gardens Oval.
The draw, released yesterday, has each side playing two matches of two 20-minute halves, with the top pair playing off in the grand final for the $4000 first prize.
It’s the second time in three years Warrnambool and Koroit have opened the tournament.
Warrnambool coach Scott Carter said the Blues were unlikely to have their full list available.
“I would say both sides would be far from full strength,” he said.
“I think we will have a few cricketers not playing and I won’t be playing everyone who is available in each game.
“I will mix and match.”
Carter said the Blues and Saints had squared off a lot in recent seasons so there were few secrets between the camps.
“I would suggest the two sides will be vastly different to last year’s grand final and when we play in round seven.”
The nature of the competition means sides have to win their two matches to have any chance of qualifying for the grand final. Last year’s two bottom sides Port Fairy and South Warrnambool meet in the second match, ensuring one will have a shot at the cash prize.
Finalists Cobden, North Warrnambool Eagles and Camperdown, plus the expected big improver Portland have potentially the hardest draws.
The Bombers and Magpies both face the Eagles and Portland.
The senior netball pre-season cup will also be played on the day.
The draw is yet to be finalised.