I think Etta James said it best when she sang "about bloomin' time" - or words to that effect - maybe it was "aaaat laaaast..." - I dunno but the sentiment is the same. After what seems like the longest pre-season ever, football returns for real this weekend as SKOB send 10 teams out to kick off Round one of the VAFA season. Yes, from Friday night when the Saints Gold take on Caulfield in a blockbuster replay of last year's Preliminary Final,all the way through to Sunday twilight when the Masters oil up creaky joints and tape limbs back together for one more shot at footballing glory, SKOBFC will have representation right across the playing fields of Metro Melbourne. We can't wait - we won't wait - we don't need to - it's here.
The Seniors will head to Princes Park in Caulfield to take on last year's Premier B champs, Old Haileybury, who return to the top flight of VAFA football this season. It will be a big day for the Bloods as they unfurl their flag from last season, and no doubt the home team will be up and about with a big crowd expected for the clash. After a successful run of practice matches, SKOB will go in with some confidence, but practice is now over and this is the real thing. Coach Lynch will need to have his players ready for an epic battle. Our Reserves will kick things off against Old Haileybury at 11:40, with the Seniors starting at 2:00. The Men's Thirds are off to the Beach Oval to take on Old Brighton at the salubrious hour of 2:00pm. It's prime time for Coach Ollie's boys as they look to start the new year with a bang against a newcomer to the Premier Thirds competition.
Critch back at the helm
In a headline that surprises absolutely no one, Sam Critchley will lead out the Seniors once again in 2023. Critch returns this year as Premiership Captain, having earned the title in 2022 when SKOB Seniors tasted ultimate success. His unanimous support in the leadership voting showed the tremendous faith the playing group hold in him, and Critch will have Tom Jok and Cam Hodges in his corner as Vice Captains, with Bill Coates, Shaun Kennedy and Mitch Wallis rounding out the Leadership Group.
Friday night lights for the Saints
In what might be a sign of the new times, the Saints Gold team are under the bright lights of Friday night to start season 2023. In a clash that pits more than Club v Club, this game is truly a family affair with our Saints co-captain Margaret Gleeson right in the thick of it. Let's just hope that there's handshakes all around at the end of what promises to be a great game. The match is at E.E Gunn Reserve (Ormond's home ground) and commences at 7:10pm. On Saturday our Saints Blue play Caulfield at the same venue (E.E Gunn Reserve) from 9:20am, whilst our mighty Saints Green commence their Premiership defence against Melbourne Uni at Crawford Oval (the 'other' Princes Park) on Sunday at 10am. With games spread over 3 days, fans can get along to support all our Saints teams.
Under 19's to hold the fort
It's an unusual situation, but our Under 19 Premier team and our Masters are the only SKOB teams enjoying a home game this weekend. With 8 out of 10 cats playing away, there's not a lot of action at the King. However, our Under 19 Premier Team will be at TH King this Saturday when they take on Old Xavs from 2pm. It's a tough challenge to start the season - coming up against last year's premiers - but with a bunch of new recruits SKOB will be giving their all. In Div 2 our boys are at Melbourne Uni Oval on Saturday to take on Uni Blacks at 9:20am. It's a big deck at Uni and it will be in superb nick at this time of year, so will be a great opportunity for the young guys to crack right in. In Div 4, our guys head down to Mentone Grammar Playing Fields to take on Beaumaris from 1:00pm Saturday, and they are chock full of enthusiasm and ready to go.
Rounding out a massive opening weekend of football, we see the Masters return for another year in the VAFA comp. Captain Ricky "Dancing" Caldow will lead the charge against Marcellin on Sunday at 3pm. The match is at TH King, and the friendly start time should mean there's a healthy crowd there to support the mighty Masters as they launch into 2023.
Come along and support SKOB somewhere, anywhere, or everywhere this weekend. It's great to have footy back!
Home Game lunch - next Saturday - BOOK NOW
There's a massive day planned for Saturday 22nd April at TH King with 3 flags to unfurl and 4 big games on to entertain everyone. Our Saints Green will unfurl their flag before the 9:20 kickoff, then after a pre-match luncheon, our Seniors will unfurl their 2022 flag at 2:00pm, followed by the Saints Gold at 4:40pm. The lunch is certain to sell out so make sure you book now to avoid disappointment.
With thanks to our match day luncheon sponsors Tilling Timber