Well hasn't some extra interest been thrown into the Mid Gippsland season of 2023, with the likes of Thorpdale, MDU, and Morwell East all showing significant improvement from the season past and all three capable of having an impact on the makeup of the top six, and all three believing they can actually be a part of it.
Thorpdale v Hill End Thorpdale are coming off one of their most pleasing victories in a handful of years, after defeating the respected Mirboo North on the Tigers home deck just last week.
The Blues had been showing signs that a win might be on its way after three commendable performances in the opening three rounds, but now in the blink of an eye, they have the very real chance of making it two in a row.
Jason Winderlich, Thorpdale coach "Last week was a great day for the club, a good reward for the playing group. It's an extremely even competition this year so we expect another good challenge against Hill End at home.”
Pre season, you might have pencilled this match up as one that Hill End would be expected to win, but right now Hill End are the hunted, and will need to find something extra to overcome their current "Blues", after last weeks loss to Newborough
Mike Santo, Hill End coach “ We did battle and I don’t think the scoreboard gave out effort justice. It was the last quarter that blew us away; our inaccuracy around the goal clearly didn’t help." There is no easy pathway this week for the Rovers, and Coach Santo will be hoping, or more precisely, coaching as though its their last chance to remain in touch will those sides above them.
Newborough v Morwell East Only one of these two unbeaten teams will continue to hold that title after this weekend. As good as Morwell East have been, the Hawks will no doubt know more about themselves after the round five clash with Newborough.
The Bulldogs on their home deck are a powerful unit, in fact they are on any ground at the moment, and they will be ready, willing and able to give the Hawks their toughest test to date.
Craig Skinner, Newborough coach “Im looking forward to an early top of the table game at home with a chance to get a bonus four points in front of our Past Players Reunion.”
The opportunity to showcase to past players that this may well be another year for the Bulldogs to celebrate won't be lost on Coach Skinner, but he and his talented team won't have everything their own way.
Paul Henry, Morwell East coach "The spirit in these boys is something else and that's exactly what we are going to need again this week, in what will be our biggest test yet, when we come up against the undefeated Newborough side. Can't wait for this!
For the winner, clear air at the top of the MGFNL ladder beckons, for the loser it's back to a chasing pack of clubs.
Fish Creek v Foster To say a win is crucial for these two teams would be a massive understatement.
Fish Creek, under the guidance of coach Jarrod Walker, are showing "patches" of what is required to win games, but the Kangaroos will need to give more and do more to be in a position to claim the points against the visiting Foster.
The Tigers themselves have managed to taste victory on a number of occasions already this season, but will not be wanting a repeat of the sort of inaccurate finishing they showed in their defeat last week.
Sam Davies, Foster coach “ What do they say about bad kicking… It was going to catch up to us after the last few weeks and last week it did.
Fish Creek would love the Tigers to once again be giving up chances in front of goals as they did last week, but more importantly they just need to be better themselves.
Jarrod Walker, Fish Creek coach, "Some good learnings for us to take from the game last week, so it’s time for us to roll up our sleeves and start putting in the hard yards.”
There are no shortcuts or easy passage to success at any level, and the Kangaroo's performance this week will make obvious whether they understand that or not.
Mirboo North v MDU
MDU, would have done some forward scouting on this week's opponent,. and possibly walked away from the Tigers defeat to Thorpdale with a plan of how they might also be able to claim victory.
It really is an early fork in the road for Mirboo North, who might well have had last week's clash with Thorpdale as one they expected to win.
Pressure can quickly build in such a close competition and that pressure will give us an early look at what the Tigers are made of.
Peter Mongta, Mirboo North coach “Last week we did have a chance to snatch victory in the last thirty seconds but it wasn’t meant to be. It was a disappointing loss for our club but we have to turn our focus now to MDU this week and get on with it.”
Without question, that is what the Tigers must do, last weeks surprising loss to Thorpdale is dead and buried, but a win this week can quickly get the Mirboo North club up and about again. What stand s in their way is MDU.
Nathan Allen, MDU coach “We had a really good day as a group last week, we moved the ball well and the most pleasing thing was turning the forward entries into scores.”
As good as the Demons were last week, you get the feeling they will need to be even better again this week.
Stony Creek v Toora
Two teams that currently sit at the wrong end of the MGFNL ladder will no doubt be preparing to throw everything they have in this week's round five clash. Toora, coming off the bye, have had time not only to refresh, but also see the Demons account for the Lions first hand ijust a week ago.
A handful of the Magpie players may not have been on the trip to Hill End just a few weeks ago, but they will have no problem in the journey to Stony Creek this week.
Jack Weston, Toora coach "we have had patches where we have looked ok, but just not for long enough, we have had a solid three weeks where we have learned a lot but we were looking forward to last weeks bye."
Both sides are more than capable on their day, bu there will be no excuses from either side this week.
Chris VerBoon, Stony Creek coach " Last week our skills let us down, just lacked that polish going forward. We will take some positives out of the game but have a bit to work on before Toora this week.”
Yinnar v Tarwin.
Winning form is good form, and these two teams bring that into this weeks game in round five..
Tarwin showed another side to themselves last week, when they took on and defeated Boolarra in a real "shootout" against the Demons, the Sharks kicking better than twenty goals of scoring.
However, whether they bring that game style into this week against Yinnar, will be of most interest.
Troy Hemming, Tarwin coach “We keep learning about ourselves and also the competition! This week we have our first away game at Yinnar! HUGE game!”
Yinnar are preparing for perhaps their biggest challenge of the season, but last week's win over Foster have them well placed.
Daniel Taylor, Yinnar coach “ Our depth has been challenged which has given us no other option but to play the kids and once again they were fantastic! Tarwin this week is another challenge that we're looking forward to, they look to be in good form so we'll have to be at our best to get the win.
It promises to be one of the better and more interesting clashes of the round, for the winner, the momentum continues, and for the loser it's a sure sign there is some work to do.