Good Friday Gippy League

THE Gippsland League football season begins on Friday with two matches.

South Gippsland rivals Leongatha and Wonthaggi will meet, while Morwell will head west to play Warragul.

The opening round will conclude the following weekend, highlighted by the Battle of the Birds between Sale and Maffra, while Moe will host Drouin and Traralgon will head to Bairnsdale.

LEONGATHA will unfurl its 2017 premiership flag before taking on Wonthaggi at home.

Paul Carbis takes over the reigning premier from Beau Vernon, who will coach Phillip Island. Carbis has three years of coaching experience in the VFL.

The Parrots have a largely settled line-up, with main losses Zak Vernon and Aaron Hillberg. They have recruited on-baller Colin Sanbrook from Moe.

With Stuart Gilmour still at the helm, Wonthaggi will be aiming to improve on its eighth place finish last season, losing its last five matches.

With Jarrod Membrey overseas this season, Inverloch-Kongwak premiership player Santo Joma will provide athleticism to the Power defence.

Jordan Staley, part of Footscray’s 2016 VFL premiership team, is also joining the Power.

Wonthaggi signed former St Kilda player Arryn Siposs, who has since been offered a college scholarship in the USA. The Power is hopeful Siposs will play for the club before leaving for the USA mid-season.

The Power will be buoyed by the return of ruckman Toma Huther from a knee construction.

ANOTHER team looking to atone for a disappointing 2017, Warragul will host Morwell.

Hit hard by injuries last year, the Gulls will look to have greater depth as a key to improve on their seventh placing.

Lachlan Miller and Luke Di Ciero bolster the Gulls, who have lost 2016 league best-and-fairest Brad Scalzo.

Morwell will continue to focus on developing its young side, after losing some experienced players.

The Tigers finished fifth in 2017, knocked out of the finals by Moe in the first week.

TTU recruit Matt Albanese will settle well into the Tigers’ defence.

The 2018 Gippsland Football and Netball Magazine is available for $2 from the Gippsland Times office and local newsagents.