WARNERS Bay hope the old boys from their golden era can inspire a vital victory over Cardiff in Black Diamond AFL today.
The Bulldogs will celebrate the 25th anniversary of their first premiership in 1988 and 20 years since their last flag in 1993 at Seaman Oval.
Between 40 and 50 old boys are expected in attendance for the game which could eventually decide fourth spot.
With six rounds remaining, the top three for the semi-finals, Terrigal-Avoca (90 per cent), Newcastle City (81.82) and Killarney Vale (63.64), is almost set in stone.
That leaves the Hawks (40) and the Bulldogs (44.44) to scrap for fourth spot.
“It is absolutely huge tomorrow,” Warners Bay coach Jimmy Newburn said.
“We beat them earlier in the year and they will hopefully want to reverse that. We haven’t beaten them twice in a year for a very long time.”
Watching on for the Bulldogs will be old boy John Deverell, the only player to feature in all five of the Bulldogs’ grand final victories in 1988 and 1990-93.
His son Lachlan Deverell, 17, will line up in the Bulldogs’ midfield.
Cardiff will be boosted by the return of Isaac Heeney from an impressive performance for the NSW/ACT Rams at the AFL under-18 national titles in Sydney.
In round four the Bulldogs dominated the Hawks’ midfield for a 17.13 (115) to 10.10 (70) victory, and Cardiff coach Adam Dugan said Heeney could be the difference.
“They carved us up in the midfield last time and young Matt Spinks for them had about 30 touches and half a dozen clearances,” Dugan said.
“We’re also just trying to contain their rebound at half-back, as every time we turned the ball over in our own half they rebounded very hard and we couldn’t contain them.”
In other matches today, Newcastle City are expected to bounce back from last week’s loss by beating Lake Macquarie at No.1 Sportsground, while Adelaide Street Oval will host the Central Coast battle between Terrigal-Avoca and the Bombers.