Thousand reasons to celebrate

MAFFRA will mark a major milestone when it hosts Traralgon in Gippsland League football on Saturday.

The Eagles will play their 1000th senior game since joining the Latrobe Valley Football League, as it was then known, in 1960 from the former Gippsland Football League.

To mark the occasion, the Eagles will wear replicas of the black jumper with a wide red horizontal band which the club wore until 1977.

In their 999 games, the Eagles have won 489, lost 509 and drawn only one.

Last winning a GFL senior premiership in 1948, the Eagles worked long and hard for success at major league level, competing in only 12 finals series from 1960 to 2000. But since 2002, the Eagles have been a dominant force, claiming seven premierships.

As well as a celebration of 1000 games, there will also be a reunion of the Eagles’ 2003 premiership side.

Saturday’s match promises to be a tight contest, with both sides boasting quality across the field.

Former AFL player Nick Stevens is likely to play for Traralgon, leading its potent onball division which sets up goal scoring opportunities for Tim Aitken and Dan McKenna.

Kel Porter and Ben Coleman will look to wrest control of the midfield for Maffra.

With both sides sitting on nine wins, third place on the ladder will be up for grabs.

The Maroons hold that position on percentage ahead of the Eagles and Wonthaggi, who won last weekend during the first half of the split round.

Before the break, Maffra lost at Morwell in difficult conditions with the home side’s better start proving the difference.

The Maroons are coming off a 54-point win over Bairnsdale. They have won their past four

matches.

The Eagles have won their past four matches against the Maroons. In round six, the Eagles won at Traralgon by 17 points.

Big ask for Hawks

NINTH-PLACED Drouin will host Morwell, who is second.

The Tigers have not won at Drouin since 2009, but current form suggests they shouldn’t be troubled on Saturday.

Before the break, the Tigers defeated Maffra, while the Hawks were unable to recover from a poor start against Leongatha.

Saturday’s match will be Robert Johns’ second last as Drouin coach. This week it was announced Johns will step down after the Hawks’ round 16 game against Traralgon after gaining employment in Saudi Arabia.

Eric Bott will relinquish the presidency to take over as coach for the rest of the season.