It will be 644 days since Langwarrin last tasted defeat when the reigning Division Two Premiers face the defending Division One Premiers at Lloyd Park. Round One will be the first time Langwarrin and Frankston YCW will have met in a competitive match since 2017 and will be the first test of Langwarrin’s Division One campaign. For the Stonecats it will be a chance to start their season off strong after their 8th premiership since 2010 (2010, 2011, 2012, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2022) as they look to go back-to-back in 2023.
Langwarrin’s form in 2022 will have turned many heads in Division One as Josh Beard and Blake McCormack’s men will look to match it with the best the Mornington Peninsula has to offer in 2023 and will look to replicate the success of YCW, who have long been the benchmark of MPNFNL. With youngsters such as Max Gregory, Henry Berenger and Luca Goonan, YCW show no signs of slowing down and will have a big target on their backs come 2023.
Local rivalries on the Peninsula don’t get much bigger than Dromana and Red Hill who this year will kick off both their seasons with a Good Friday clash in Round 1. These two clubs always produce close games with the two clubs producing a stalemate in Round 2 of 2022, with the sides locked at 49-49 at the final siren. Their Round 10 clash was almost as close with the sides only separated by 6 points at the end of the game. Red Hill did get the better of Dromana in 2021 with a 1-point win against the Tigers meaning their last three games have been decided by a combined total of 7 points.
The Geurts boys led Dromana to victory the last time they faced Red Hill with Josh, Billy and Sam collecting 92 possessions between them and will again be crucial to Dromana’s fortunes in 2023.
MPNFNL Team of the Year Captain Jonah Siverson along with Danny Allsop, Jake Mitchell, Harry Wynn-Pope and new recruit Josh Clayton will go out to knock off the Tigers on Good Friday in 2023 in one of the biggest games of the year. Dromana’s early exit during finals in 2022 and Red Hill’s failure to reach finals for the first time since 2013 will provide both clubs plenty to think about this pre-season and will see the Tigers and the Hillmen kickstart their campaigns against their biggest rivals.
After finishing 6th and 7th respectively in 2022, both Sorrento and Pines will be out to prove the doubters wrong in 2023 as the bitter rivals hope to play finals footy once again next season. Pines have not won a final since their triumph over Sorrento after the siren in the 2018 decider which saw the Pythons win their first flag since the turn of the century.
Sorrento had added an array of experienced talent such as bringing in 2022 Team of the Year member Liam McKenna from Rosebud, ex-Footscray player Nick Jamieson and returning midfielder Chad Harris from Subiaco as they look to win their first premiership since divisional football returned to the Peninsula in 2017.
Many players from either side remain from the famous Grand Final of 2018 including Guy & Beau Hendry who along with coach Paddy Swayn will be looking to recapture their form against the Sharks in 2022 which saw the Pythons win both outings. As if this encounter needed any more build up, its set to take place on ANZAC weekend which always holds a reverent place in the footballing calendar.
Not a lot needs to be said about this one. The reigning premiers against the team they knocked off in the big dance, Bonbeach will have to wait until Round 7 to avenge their defeat in last season’s Grand Final. There was no shame in defeat, as the Stonecats were the team to beat all season and were just too good on the day.
Bonbeach will be looking to go one step further in 2023 and win their first Premiership since 1984. The Grand Final was decided in the midfield with the likes of 2022 Division One Most Valuable Player Mitch Gent, Beau Bailey and Sam Gilbert going against 2022 Division One E.V. Shade Medallist Blake Mullane, Bailey Lambert and Luca Goonan who will do battle once again in Round 7.
The 2022 Finals Series will leave a bitter taste in the mouths of all Redlegs supporters with the Steve Brattle led outfit no doubt feeling they left plenty of the table last season. A late season victory against eventual premiers YCW had the Redlegs primed for a big September, but they ran into the runaway train that was the Frankston Bombers who rode their momentum all the way to a Preliminary Finals birth last season.
The clash between the Bombers and the Redlegs saw the boys from Baxter Park end Mt. Eliza’s season at their home ground in comprehensive fashion. Jarrad Grant, Khan Haretuku and Jarryd Amalfi were among the Bombers best that day and with some high-profile recruits including Jack Berry from Weribee from the VFL as well as Bayleigh Welsh and Lachie Robinson switching the red & blue of Mt. Eliza for the red & black of the Bombers there will be some added spice in this matchup.
Both sides will be vying once again for finals contention in 2023 with Mt. Eliza having one of the youngest sides in Division One and the Bombers having one of the most experienced sides. It will a classic matchup of youth vs experience in Round 18 which may decide which team makes finals and which team has their season ended for 2023.
In their first meeting since 2017, Chelsea and Edithvale-Aspendale reignite one of biggest rivalries the MPNFNL has to offer. What a way for both clubs to open the season as the Seagulls and Eagles will face each other under lights on Friday night in Round 1.
After a tough season that saw Edi-Asp drop to Division Two, the Eagles have wasted no time in rebounding, signing several high-profile players in the hopes of returning to Division One in 2024. Chelsea missed out on a finals berth due to a defeat on the last day of the season and will be looking to go one better and challenge for the premiership in 2023.
Their Round 1 clash will be 2086 days since Chelsea and Edi-Asp last met in a competitive game, with Chelsea not tasting victory against Edi-Asp since 2012. A huge crowd is expected and only 2km separate Edithvale-Aspendale and Chelsea and with the two clubs possessing two of the strongest netball sides in MPNFNL this will be a must watch clash to kick off 2023.
The Paddy Ryder show officially begins in Round 1 as Devon take on their close rivals Pearcedale to start off the year. Ryder and fellow ex-Saint Dean Kent bring big expectations to Glover Reserve as they look to bring a Premiership to Devon for the first time in their history.
Pearcedale will be looking for redemption after their exit to the hands of Karingal in the Semi Final and Devon will be first to challenge the Dales in 2023. These two clubs know each other well, meeting in the Elimination Final in 2022 which saw the Dales comprehensively beat Devon and ending their season after starring performances by Luke Jennings, Ryan Bastinac and Huw Jones.
Pearcedale will be an intriguing team to watch in 2023, with a host of their best players under the age of 23, the likes of Kaolan Thornton, Luke Daniel and Cruiz West will look to steer the Panthers to another final’s appearance next season and it will all start with a huge game in Round 1 against one of their biggest rivals. The local derby is made even more interesting as the two clubs that are stacked with talent playing for the Lanarch Cup to kick off their seasons.
These two sides met 3 times last season and twice in finals with Somerville outlasting the Bulls in a fiery Qualifying Final clash. Karingal flipped the script when the two met in the Prelim Final with the Bulls never giving the Eagles a chance and ending their season early. Both clubs have loaded up for 2023 with big names signing at both clubs in the hopes of reaching Division One in 2024.
Lachie Williams, Tom Murphy and Luke Rowe are among the best players the MPNFNL have to offer and with Karingal’s back-to-back Grand Final defeats there will be all to play for come Round 6. Both teams will be counted among the Premiership favourites heading into the season and Round 6 may present an early Grand Final preview at Ballam Park.
Team of the Year members Jordan Pomeroy and Darcy Hope had huge back-ends to 2022 and with Luke Forsyth remaining at the helm will be crucial to Karingal’s 2023 campaign. This Round 6 clash also takes place on Recognising Reconciliation Round which elevates this game to one of the marquee clashes in Division Two in 2023.
When these two teams met in the Semi Final last year they produced one of the all time classic finals matches, with a last second goal on the run from Karingal skipper Dale Alanis ending the 2022 season for the Dales. Pearcedale’s heartbreaking end to 2022 presents as a potential launching pad to catapult Pearcedale into premiership contention in 2023.
With Langwarrin gone, both Karingal and Pearcedale will be licking their lips with the Division Two premiership race wide open for the first time in a number of years. Both Karingal and Pearcedale possess one of the Division’s most prolific one-two combinations with Riley D’Arcy & Darcy Hope for Karingal and Luke Daniel & Cruiz West for Pearcedale being among the most dangerous forwards the Mornington Peninsula has to offer.
Any fears Pearcedale will fail to overcome the nightmares caused by the 6-goal last quarter comeback win by Karingal will be answered in Round 16 in this late season clash that might determine whether either of these Premiership contenders will go deep into finals once again in 2023.
Mornington and Edi-Asp will be two of the heavy hitters in Division Two come 2023, with Edi looking to bounce right back into Division One in 2024 and Mornington still looking for redemption after a disappointing 2023. The Division’s two most recently relegated teams come into the new season with fresh faces on either side, with the Eagles singing several experienced players including Liam Hiscock, Mitch Woolgar and Daniel Harrison. Mornington have also welcomed back to the club spearhead Jackson Calder as well as newly signed Captain/Coach Josh Newman from the Frankston Dolphins.
The two sides only play each other once in 2023 and they will have to wait until the last round of the year to test themselves against each other in what mightn’t be their last encounter for 2023 with most sides expecting to go deep into finals.
Round 18 will also be the 25th Premiership Reunion for Mornington who will look to add more silverware next season as they look to win their first Premiership since 2004 in 2023.