The Yirrkala Derby between Djarrak Football Club and the Nguykal Football Club is expected to be a tight affair when both sides face off at Hindle Oval on Saturday at 2pm. Nguykal FC played itself into form with a comprehensive win over Baywara FC last round whilst Djarrak FC had a Intra-club fixture in order to remain on task for the key fixture.
In the previous two clashes this year Djarrak FC won a close encounter late in Round 4, and in Round 9 won convincingly over a depleted Nguykal FC outfit. Reigning premiers Nguykal FC have most hands on deck this week and football pundits expect an even clash in the early game to kick off Gove AFL Mens competition action and both sides will be looking to build momentum before launching their finals campaigns.
The Brown and Gold Army have a number of forced changes through unavailability and injury that will test the depth of the squad but Senior Coach Hayden Rickard views an opportunity for others to step up and push for finals selection. He said "We will miss our key defensive leader in Cameron (Stokes) but I see an opportunity for Dale (Dhamarrandji) and Joel (Ikupu) to step up and really launch our defensive zone. Its great to be out of the comfort zone and finding solutions on the go, so I expect we go back to what works for us, an uncompromising approach to working as a team. He added "We get Murray and DJ Marika back through the middle and what we miss in Matty Campbell's class is a ton of grunt and desire. Bernie Price makes a welcome return, we will look to manage his minutes and obviously we will need other players to be active forward".
Key outs include Stokes (unavailable), Campbell (unavailable), Rhys Mulholland (injured) and Kenny Morton (injured - will miss finals). Coming into the side are the Marika brothers, Price, Grant Maymuru, Nelson Bara and Brendan (Marika) Dhamarrandji. Price will look to add a significant threat to proceedings forward and if loaded with an extra defender will likely open opportunities for others. Grant Maymuru takes the floating role on the bench and can go dangerous in attack or play a lockdown roll behind the contest.
Due to a death at Yirrkala this week and the recent passing of Dr G Yunupingu Gove AFL football has been transferred to Nhulunbuy. Clubs have been asked to wear two armbands whilst playing as a show of respect. The Djarrak Football Club and its supporters send deepest sympathies to both families.
Two weeks remain of the regular season. Next weekend has a bye round and the final regular season Round 15 takes place on Saturday 11th August followed by a three week finals series.
In Gove AFLW the Djarrak FC Womens team will take on Gopu FC in a top of the table clash. The game starts at 11am and football supporters are urged to attend what is expected to be high end encounter.
Gove AFL Womens: Djarrak FC v Gopu FC, Hindle Oval 11am
Gove AFL Mens: Djarrak FC v Nguykal FC, Hindle Oval 2pm