PREVIEW | 2023 Coates Talent League – Preliminary Final 2

ONLY two more weeks of Coates Talent League football remain in 2023, with the weekend’s Preliminary Finals set to determine who will face off in this year’s decider. In the second of two bouts on Sunday, reigning premier Sandringham takes on Geelong at Queen Elizabeth Oval. We preview the big clash.

  • Team
  • Sandringham Dragons
  • Geelong Falcons

Sunday September 17, 2:00pm @ Queen Elizabeth Oval


Sandringham will look to continue its premiership defence on Sunday when it meets the Geelong Falcons, who played spoiler to GWV last week.


H&A records:
Sandringham – 3rd (1st Metro) | 9-4 | 117.3%
Geelong – 7th (3rd Country) | 8-5 | 111.7%

Sandringham – WWWW | LL | WWWWW | LL | WW
Geelong – WW | L | WWW | LL | W | L | W | L | WWW

Sandringham def. Western Jets by 54 points.
Geelong def. Bendigo Pioneers by 18 points.

Quarter Final:
Sandringham def. Northern Knights by 52 points.
Geelong def. GWV Rebels by 18 points.

Previous meeting(s):
Yet to meet in 2023.


Sandringham Dragons:

B: #47 L. Voss – #54 O. Murphy – #30 N. Sullivan
HB: #18 M. Carroll – #25 B. McGee Galimberti – #9 A. Roberts
C: #22 W. Nish – #15 R. Sanders – #17 T. O’Leary
HF: #4 W. Brown (c) – #29 H. Johnston – #58 M. Reid
F: #23 C. Harrop – #11 C. Dear – #70 A. May
FOL: #32 V. Visentini – #3 L. Ashcroft – #28 C. Edwards

INT: #2 E. Williams, #10 M. Szonyi, #27 L. Young, #40 C. Lord, #71 J. Dolan

EMG: #13 J. Docking, #26 M. Enders, #69 L. Trainor

Angus Hastie is one of Geelong’s star players | Image Credit: Rookie Me Central

Geelong Falcons

B: #44 E. Borys – #34 T. Peirce – #18 T. Bartlett
HB: #19 A. Hastie – #36 J. Grigsby – #15 L. Kershaw
C: #27 A. Sinnott – #10 P. Hughes – #1 C. Ward
HF: #3 T. Burke – #13 X. Ivisic – #5 T. Anastasopoulos
F: #32 R. Page – #46 W. McLachlan – #25 M. Rudd
FOL: #29 J. Pike – #14 Mal White – #43 J. Henderson 

INT: #4 R. Stevens, #26 M. Butcher, #30 E. Ibbetson, #39 K. George, #12 N. Tullio

EMG: #8 A. Hanley, #28 D. Lowther


Sandringham’s depth has only gotten scarier at the team selection table this week, with combine invitees Matt Carroll and Charlie Harrop returning to the side, while the three emergencies would likely get a game in any other region.

The Dragons’ midfield is stacked, with the trio of Ryley Sanders, Levi Ashcroft, and Charlie Edwards working wonders. That’s not to mention the likes of Harvey Johnston, skipper Will Brown, and Murphy Reid who can roll through there from up forward.

Vic Metro MVP Ollie Murphy could be used in a couple of ways. He may take on the role of marking Falcons co-captain Michael Rudd, or given the license to peel off and intercept as he pleases. Though, Geelong’s forward line has gotten the job done in recent weeks.

Smalls Tom Anastasopoulos and Thomas Burke are capable of hitting the scoreboard, while bottom-ager Xavier Ivisic has some class. They’ll look to capitalise should Patrick Hughes and Malachi White allow quick entries from midfield, along with Angus Hastie launching off half-back.


Sandringham looks like fielding one of the best teams on paper we’ve seen this season, but as Geelong proved last time out, anything can happen in finals. There’s a similar feel to 2022 in what the Dragons are doing – they were premiers then, and should get the job done here. Dragons by 25.

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