Friendships have been put on hold this week with Tungamah and Rennie facing off for the Picola District Football League south-east premiership.
The Bears and Grasshoppers signed a combined 29 players from Ovens and Murray powerhouse Yarrawonga and Murray league side Mulwala last summer and most of them will face off in Saturday’s big dance.
Bears co-coach Jeremy O’Brien played together in the Pigeons’ 2013 premiership with Grasshoppers leader Craig Ednie and ruckman Steve McKee.
‘‘It is is going to be a weird feeling, but a good feeling, we all know each other so well and I am sure in years to come over a few beers this game will be brought up,’’ Ednie said.
‘‘There is a bit of a buzz around Yarrawonga at the minute with so many boys across both sides playing this weekend.’’
Ednie brought along 12 Pigeons with him at the start of the campaign, while the Bears have four.
Saturday’s opponents also have a combined 13 players from Mulwala and with so many familiar faces running around, Ednie was trying to remain tight-lipped.
‘‘We are keeping quiet for now, we don’t want to jump the gun, there is always going to be a little banter heading in, but hopefully we have the last laugh,’’ Ednie said.
Meanwhile, O’Brien advised his side to embrace the unique challenge.
‘‘They have had a few lean years and now some of the boys we know have come and are playing for them, which is good to see,’’ O’Brien said.
‘‘We know each other’s qualities, the way we play and that has shown during the games throughout the season.
‘‘It is going to be great fun and I hope the boys get out there and get one over their mates.’’
O’Brien, Pearce medallist Bodhi Butts, Nick Doyle and Jim Irvine head the connection for the Bears, while the influx of Yarrawonga players virtually saved the Grasshoppers.
Ednie recruited his brother Luke, Mitch Collins-Bye, Dean Bigger, Nick O’Bryan and Chase Strawhorn to the Grasshoppers.
PDFL GRAND FINALS
Saturday at Katandra Recreation Reserve
Seniors: Tungamah v Rennie, 2pm
Reserves: Shepp East v Waaia, 12.30pm
Under-17s: Tungamah v Katandra, 10.35pm
Under-14s: Tungamah v Rennie, 9.20pm