Preview: Northern Blues vs. Williamstown

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There’ll be plenty at stake when the Northern Blues host Williamstown at Preston tomorrow. (PHOTO CREDIT: Jason Heidrich)

The Northern Blues have a huge task ahead of them on Saturday when they host Williamstown at Preston City Oval.

The Blues welcome a healthy Carlton contingent as well as some VFL-listed experience to the line-up, against a Williamstown outfit that had had the wood over the Blues in recent seasons.

Looking to open the account for season, the Blues will have to do what they haven’t managed in three years: triumph over the Seagulls.

Williamstown are coming off a big win in Round 1, where they accounted for grand finalists Casey on Easter Monday at home.

While the Blues didn’t manage to come away with the points in the VFL season opener, they returned to winning ways last weekend with a convincing win over the AFL Academy at Etihad Stadium.

A star performer on that day was Sam Kerridge, who has been named to make his VFL debut for the Blues on Saturday afternoon.

The midfield battle looms as crucial, with Kerridge joining the likes of Nick Graham, David Cuningham and Luke Russell in the clinches.

They’ll come up against opponents which Northern know all too well, after ex-Blue pair Nick Meese and Adam Marcon starred for Williamstown in their opening round win.

If the Blues are to come away with the four points, their efficiency forward of centre will be crucial: Northern was left to rue its inability to convert chances to scoreboard pressure against the Borough a fortnight ago.

With Carlton playing interstate this weekend, Saturday presents the best opportunity for Bluebaggers to see their boys in action. Entry is free for Northern Blues members, with memberships on sale at the gate from just $30.

The game will also be broadcast live on Channel 7 and 7PLUS: for interstate viewers, simply change your location to Victoria (postcode 3000) to watch the contest either through the 7PLUS website or app.

MATCH DETAILS
Round 2 VFL
Northern Blues vs. Williamstown
Preston City Oval
2:40pm start
Broadcast live on Channel 7 (streamed live on 7PLUS)
Entry: $10 adults, $5 concession, Northern Blues members and children under 15 free
Please note, Carlton members are only guaranteed free entry to Northern Blues home games at Ikon Park.

PLAYERS TO WATCH
Andrew Gallucci: Once again a player to watch this weekend, Gallucci was in fine form against the Academy and he’s got extra incentive on Saturday afternoon. After a long wait, Gallucci — who won a Premiership with Williamstown in 2015 — comes up against his former side for the first time. The speedster has been in fine goalscoring form since his return from a lengthy injury layofff (eight goals in three games), and he’ll need that spark around goals if the Blues are to triumph on Saturday.

Jesse Glass-McCasker: The second-year Blue was swung forward late last week where he kicked his first two goals for the club, but he’s been named in familiar territory once more for this Saturday. Stationed at centre-half-back against a Williamstown side full of firepower, Glass-McCasker will be joined by the likes of Cameron O’Shea and Alex Silvagni. If they can shut out their opposition and get the Blues going the other way, Northern will be much better-placed to get the first win on the board for this season.

Tom Wilson: The captain and reigning best-and-fairest had a solid start to the current campaign, but he’ll typically challenge himself to raise the bar on the weekend. With a deep pool of on-ballers rotating through Josh Fraser’s side, Wilson will have to be at his inspirational best for Northern to get on top of one of the most well-rounded midfields in the competition.