WEST and East Gambier will play off for the prestigious Call to Arms Cup to headline the final minor round of the Western Border Football League tomorrow at Malseed Park.
The annual contest holds special significance for both clubs as their premier home-and-away game, but more importantly raises awareness of cancer and its effect on families.
Since the maiden battle in 2011, the Call to Arms Cup has become a highlight on the football calendar and has brought the
community together in support of cancer sufferers in honour of the late Phil Muhovics.
Muhovics served for both clubs as a player, coach and administrator and has a long-lasting legacy on the competition.
In his honour, the player of the match will receive the Phil Muhovics Memorial Medal.
The medallion is awarded on a vote system to the player who not only is the most skilful on the day, but also makes the greatest contribution and effort for their team.
A special presentation will take place this year with Phil’s brother Mick presenting the individual award.
The match itself shapes up as an exciting finals preview with second and third on the ladder doing battle to sign off the minor round season.
To create further intrigue, previous Bulldogs v Roos clashes have been hard to predict in 2019.
The rivals kicked off the season in style when East won a nail-biter after the siren in round one, while the pair have shared the honours in the two games since.
East is the current holder of the Call to Arms Cup after it held on by just a single point in last year’s contest.
West will be determined to reclaim the bragging rights and get its hands on the silverware this year.
The Roos carry the better recent record into the clash, fresh off an 87-point thrashing over reigning premier Millicent.
Garret Ha kicked five goals and is in dangerous form, while Jordan Williams and Dwayne Phillips have been consistent contributors lately.
The home side will be even more desperate to hit East hard in response to its heavy defeat to the Bulldogs in round 11.
On the other hand, East is hungry to return to its best and bounce back from a poor showing at home against South Gambier last week.
Players to look out for will be Matt Scanlon, Jayden Eldridge and Giancarlo Cooper.
Scanlon has led the way this season and has shown his versatile skills all over the ground, while Eldridge and Cooper are tough to catch in their respective midfield and forward line positions.
Last round was the third-straight defeat for East and it cannot afford another if it is to carry momentum into its finals campaign.
Both teams may not field a full-strength side due to injury concerns.
But with more than just a win at stake, fans should be treated to a thrilling afternoon of football as the rivals give it their all to claim the Call to Arms Cup and honour Muhovics’ memory.
West Gambier vice-captain Jesse Pfitzner said he expects a tight contest in the celebrated game.
“Every year it is always a tough, close game,” he said.
“It is always one we look forward to throughout the year.
“It is a big last game and it should be good.”
From the opposing camp, East Gambier playing coach Matt Willson said the respect between the teams has grown from the introduction of the Call to Arms Cup.
He looks forward to another intense match.
“I think the respect on and off the field between us and West has really grown and it is a really special game for us,” Willson said.
“We have had some good battles with West over the last couple of years.
“Hopefully it will be finals-like intensity and we can put on a good spectacle for the fans.”