Gutsy Cat keen to return

Colac Imperials skipper Andrew Scott checks on team-mate Steven Parker after he copped a sickening neck injury on Saturday. Parker spent three hours in a neck brace in Colac Hospital after the match.

COLAC Imperials midfielder Steven Parker has few memories between his sickening fall to the ground and being treated by paramedics.

The hard-nut 20-year-old will have scans on his neck this week to determine if he is fit take on Birregurra this weekend.

Paramedics transported Parker from Western Oval following the incident in the Cats’ upset victory over South Colac.

Parker was not able to celebrate the Cat-or-Roo Challenge Cup victory with team-mates, instead spending three hours in Colac’s hospital in a neck brace.

Despite the injury, Parker said it was all worth it to hear his team belt out the song as paramedics loaded him into the ambulance.

“I remember being in the rooms and the trainer holding my head so I didn’t move my neck and the ambo was called,” Parker said.

“All the boys came over to me and said their best wishes, which I was really proud of – it showed great team support just like we had on the ground,” he said.

Parker remembers little of the collision with Roo Deon Oborne that left him concussed for up to two minutes.

Oborne attempted to spoil Parker in the final term, accidentally collecting his legs, and Parker landed awkwardly on his head and neck.

“I was out for about one or two minutes and I don’t remember anything from hitting the ground to when I was being carried off into the rooms,” Parker said.

“It was very scary, but I’m nearly used to it now, it’s happened a few times – Mum was the worried one,” he said.

“It was an accident and it’s footy – things like that happen in the game.

“But Deon rang me after the game to see how I was, a few of the South players and supporters sent me best wishes which was great, because it was an accident.”

Parker, who doctors cleared of any serious spinal damage, said he thought he was a 30-per-cent chance to take on the Saints as the Imps chased another major scalp.

“I might just have a bit of bruising in the neck which would be a few weeks out I guess,” he said.

“But I’ll only have one week off if I have any, I hate not being out there with the boys.”

Colac’s golden girls qualify for state final

by Lachlan Cowlishaw

Colac 15-and-under Reserve Green netball champions. Back, from left, Tracey Lang, Ruby Howard, Ruby Marwood, Riley Stephens, Tea Luppino, Georgia Robinson, Dallas Williamson and Mercedez Hickey. Front, Liesel Park, left, and Georgia Finn.

A Colac junior netball team will represent the district at state netball finals after finishing runner-up at Western Zone championships.

Colac Gold qualified for Netball Victoria’s LOUD championships finals in Melbourne, despite losing to Netball Geelong, 15-8, in a closely fought 15-and-under grand final.

Coach Leanne Monaghan said the team put in a strong effort at Kardinia Park on Sunday.

“They knew the final was going to be a tough game, Netball Geelong is very strong and the teams were level at half time,” she said.

“I don’t think they were disappointed in their efforts, they tried pretty hard.”

Monaghan said the players were excited about the opportunity to play in front of academy scouts at the finals at the State Netball Hockey Centre in June.

“The girls can’t wait, they are really rapt and all very keen,” she said.

“It gives them exposure and if they have a bit of ability there are scouts that have a look at the teams and the girls down there.”

Monaghan said there was intense competition for academy spots.

“When you look at the big picture it’s a long way to the top of netball,” she said.

“You make the most of these opportunities and these girls have the opportunity to get down there and show what they’ve got.”

Colac sent six junior teams to Geelong, featuring players from the Colac District Football League Netball Association, Colac Night Netball Association and Colac District Netball Association.

Five teams qualified for semi-finals while two made grand finals.

Colac Green defeated Banyule District to win the 15-and-under reserve division, a highlight of the day, but will not progress to the finals.

CDFLNA secretary Val Russell said she was pleased to see Colac netball represented strongly.

“When we had teams playing in finals all the other girls came and watched,” she said.

“Particularly during semi-finals you looked across the courts and all you could see was green and gold. It was quite good to see.”

The day was also successful for Colac Tigers netballers Alana Park and Bess Hammond.

Park was a member of Netball Geelong’s successful 17-and-under side, while Hammond stood tall in the 15-and-under side which defeated Colac.

Both Tigers will play for Netball Geelong in the June finals.


President confident about colts

by Aidan Fawkes

COLAC Tigers president Nick Lang has thrown cautious support behind a restructure of under-18 football in the Geelong region.

Mr Lang this week said he had “utter faith” in what the Football Geelong commission hoped to achieve by introducing a graded “colts” competition in 2012.

“The commission is in place for a reason. They run very good competitions, that’s what they’re in place to do, to run the competitions,” he said.

“If they deem that to be the best possible outcome for all clubs, we understand that.

“What it will be, with the restructure itself, who knows. I don’t think they know.

“It’s in its infancy, that’s why you’ve got a commission, to make these decisions about what they think is best for football.”

Football Geelong will dismantle its four under-18 competitions – in the Bellarine, Geelong and Geelong District leagues as well as a cross-league under-18B grade – next season.

In its place will be most likely a four-tiered “colts” competition which pits the best under-18 sides from the Geelong region against each other.

It is unclear if it will be an under-18, under-18.5 or even under-19 competition.

The change will pit the best colts sides against each other and is designed to ensure the sustainability of clubs with under-18 sides copping heavy defeats each weekend.

Colac Tigers will most likely compete in Division One and could take on BFL club Drysdale and GDFL junior power North Geelong.

Football Geelong chief executive officer Lee Hartman said the under-18 restructure could provide a template for when the commission began looking at restructuring senior football, which GFL and BFL clubs called for at a forum last year.

“It may lead into that. Obviously a lot of water has to go under the bridge,” he said.

“We’re pretty happy, the 14s and 16s have been running successfully for about eight years altogether and the under-18s, we’ll see where it can take us.”

Mr Lang said he was confident Football Geelong would minimise travel issues associated with the Tigers’ colts playing in a different location to the senior footballers in 2012.

Leadership credentials

A REGIONAL junior coach says Colac footballers make great leaders.

Hampden junior representative coach Gerard Sully said Colac Tigers under-16 player Jack Williams was an obvious choice as skipper for a South West Junior Football Carnival.

Sully, a Hampden coach for four years, steered Hampden White at the one-day carnival at Hamilton.

“I had Max Coutts as captain back in ‘08 and he was fantastic. I just like the Colac kids because, from experience, they are good leaders and head-over-the-ball players,” Sully said.

“They travel the furthest to play, so you know they want to be there,” he said.

White, featuring Williams and fellow Tiger Sam McLachlan, was one of four Hampden teams to contest the annual interleague competition on Sunday.

The side finished one match short of success, making it to the grand final after wins against Portland, Warrnambool District and Mount Gambier and a draw with Hampden Green.

But grand final victory was not meant to be, with White going down to Hamilton, 3.2 (20) to 4.2 (26).

“Jack played at centre half back and took some great marks, Sam played mostly as a ruck rover and was a little star for us,” Sully said.

“But it was a pretty tough game and the two 10-minute halves can be hard to get used to, so it was an outstanding effort,” he said.

Hampden Green, which featured Colac Tiger Luke Cardinal, finished with two wins, one draw and one loss.

In the under-14 competition, Hampden White, featuring Colac Tigers Luke Inglis and Jesse Williamson, suffered an almost identical fate to its older counterparts.

White had wins against Mount Gambier, Hamilton and Warrnambool District to advance to the grand final, but lost to Hamilton 0.2 (2) to 2.2 (14).

Campbell McRae and Dominic Dare’s Hampden Green squad finished with two wins and one loss.

Hawks reserves score first goals

A BIG cheer at Apollo Bay Recreation Reserve marked a small milestone for battling Apollo Bay.

The monkey is off the back of the Apollo Bay reserves side after Colin Cooper and Al McKenzie kicked the Hawks’ first goals of the season against Alvie.

Cooper scored in the first term as Apollo Bay trailed 1.0 to 4.4 at quarter time, while McKenzie helped the team hit the half-time break just 31 points down, 2.0 to 6.7.

Alvie shut down the contest in the second half to win 15.9 (99) to 2.0 (12).

A player exodus on the coast has forced Apollo Bay to inject its emerging juniors into senior football and has left the reserves struggling for numbers.

Judging on results so far this season, the Hawks’ reserves are likely to struggle for a win but victory appears to be getting closer for the seniors.

Alvie won Saturday’s senior football match 16.12 (108) to 9.8 (62), but after quarter time the scoreboard read 9.11 to 8.7, a 10-point margin.

Blissful return for Lion

FORREST officials hope former Lions premiership player Justin Bliss will give a wealth of knowledge to their young list.

Bliss, 36, made his return for the Lions in their 116-point win against Western Eagles.

Bliss played in three successive finals in a three-year stint at Forrest between 2005 and 2007, which included the Lions’ fourth senior football premiership in 65 years in ’05.

Coach Dave McKiernan said the hard-nut midfielder would not have a key role in the side but was excited with his inclusion.

“He brings a fair bit of experience so we’re hoping he’ll be able to educate a few of the other guys on and off the field,” he said.

“He’ll have no real set position, but anyone we give a senior game to you certainly hope they can add value to that spot.”

Bliss left the club on good terms in 2008 to take up a coaching role at Geelong District Football League club Bannockburn before a stint with St Josephs in the Geelong Football League.

Interleague posts for umpires

FIVE Colac and district football umpires will have the honour of umpiring interleague matches on Saturday.

The Victorian Country Football League Country Championships give players and umpires an opportunity to display their skills alongside the best country footballers and umpires in the state.

The VCFL selected Colac and District football umpires Kris Marshall, Travis Weber, Regan Nelson, Nick Murnane and Nicholas Ross-Watson for interleague duties.

VCFL umpiring general manager Gerard Ryan said the championships were a platform for district umpires to further their careers.

“It’s an opportunity for them to umpire at the highest level available to them for their local area,” he said.

“It provides the next step toward VFL football umpiring or what they want to move into depending on their desires.

“They need to work through and umpire local grand finals and from that they are umpiring at the top end of their game.

“It’s good for them to get this sort of opportunity at this stage of the season.”

Marshall and Weber will patrol the boundary line while Nelson, Murnane and Ross-Watson will complete central umpiring appointments.

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