JAKE'S TAKE: Team O&M takes shape

THERE’S still a long way to go this season but what better time to have a look at the form players of the Ovens and Murray than the halfway mark?

Who will drop off as the season goes on?

Who will keep their form?

Here is how the Team of the Year would look, if it was picked now.

TEAM O&M

AL AUSTIN (Corowa-Rutherglen)

A BIG reason why the Roos have charged back up the ladder. Has done his job every week this season and is equally adapt running out of the backline as he is stopping an opposition star.

THE Panthers’ coach has again led from the front. Yet to be beaten by his direct opponent this year and provided his usual drive from defence.

KRIS HOLMAN (North Albury)

ONE of the stories of the season so far.

Back at Bunton Park and earned interleague honours thanks to his elite kicking skills.

CHRIS HYDE (Albury)

NOT quite as impressive as last season but certainly played his share of blinders.

The impact of the Albury co-coach this year has perhaps flown under the radar with Brayden O’Hara’s arrival.

MICHAEL THOMPSON (ALBURY)

HAS claimed plenty of scalps down back this year.

One of the few key defenders to beat Luke Gestier and Adam Prior over four quarters.

DEAN POLO (ALBURY)

THE former AFL player has been in super touch.

Racks up plenty of footy in the midfield and sweeping across half back.

MATT GROSSMAN (WANGARATTA)

THE Pies’ reigning best and fairest winner has picked up from where he left off.

Been a pillar of consistency again this season and does things few others can with genuine pace.

BRAYDEN O'HARA (ALBURY)

TAKEN the competition by storm.

Looks the red-hot Morris Medal favourite at the half-way mark of the season and been nothing short of brilliant from the moment he pulled on a Tigers’ jumper.

TYLER BONAT (YARRAWONGA)

PERHAPS Yarrawonga’s best player this year.

Was fantastic for the Ovens and Murray and has been a standout in a few disappointing overall efforts from the Pigeons.

ADAM FLAGG (LAVINGTON)

ONE of the league’s most improved players.

Came back with a vengeance after a topsy turvy summer and was the form player of the competition in the opening rounds.

LUKE GESTIER (COROWA-RUTHERGLEN)

WILL never understand how he missed the 40-man interleague squad.

Has provided a target in attack for the Roos they haven’t had in years and is literally the difference between them being 6-3 and 3-6.

BRAD O'CONNOR (YARRAWONGA)

PULLED the Pigeons out of the mire in a few close encounters.

Fantastic set of hands and does plenty of work up the ground with Brendan Fevola closer to goal.

BRENDAN FEVOLA (YARRAWONGA)

WON’T be happy being out of the goalsquare but Setanta O’hAilpin has kicked more goals.

Perhaps not as consistent as past seasons but still the difference at his best.

SETANTA O'HAILPIN (ALBURY)

ABSOLUTELY dominated the past month.

Has booted 43 of his 54 goals for the season in Albury’s past four games and should hit 100 by season’s end.

JARRAH MAKSYMOW (NORTH ALBURY)

THE livewire has carried the Hoppers’ forward line this season and is averaging three goals a game. Still does the miraculous but consistency, he’s gone goalless just once, gets him in.

RUCKS

SHANE GASTON (WANGARATTA ROVERS)

THE competition’s most improved player.

Gaston has been a standout in the ruck this season and rarely out of the Hawks’ best players.

KRISTAN HEIGHT (MYRTLEFORD)

HAS literally been in the Saints’ best players each week. Is a jet in the midfield and perhaps underrated by those outside of Myrtleford.

JAMIE SHEAHAN (WANGARATTA ROVERS)

HARD not to love this bloke.

Rarely loses a one-on-one contest and gives the Hawks a lift when and where they need it.

INTERCHANGE

DREW BARNES (YARRAWONGA)

NO doubt frustrated by the Pigeons’ form as a team, but the Yarrawonga playing coach is still more than holding his own individually each week.

ADAM BUTLER (LAVINGTON)

FLIES under the radar, considering he’s a former AFL-listed player.

Stayed out of the injury room and having an impact every week.

JOEL MACKIE (ALBURY)

KEEPS getting the job done.

Midfield bulldozer who does the grunt work to feed Albury’s running brigade.

COACH

BRYCE CAMPBELL (COROWA-RUTHERGLEN)

TURNED a competition battler into a top-three contender in the space of six months.

Professional in his approach, with a fantastic football brain to match.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Meanwhile ...

WHAT'S HOT?

HARD not to be happy for Myrtleford.

The Saints haven’t kicked on as they’d hoped this year but have hit a mid-year purple patch.

They’ve won two of their past three games and will fancy their chances of adding another at home against Wodonga Raiders this week.

Good to see the club put faith in Brad Murray and Leigh Cor­coran by re-signing them as coaches, despite the club’s early form woes.

WHAT'S NOT?

NORTH Albury is starting to run out of excuses.

The Hoppers are doing so much better than most people thought they would this season but they’ve let four games slip this year with poor kicking for goal.

North Albury should be at least 4-5, not 2-7.

The Hoppers know it.

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