By Sam Watson

YOU couldn’t ask for a better return for local football.

This Saturday, South Gippsland will see three massive matchups that are sure to bring the spectators out in droves.

In the Gippsland League, the prodigal son returns, and Jarryd Blair will lead Wonthaggi Power in their standalone curtain raiser clash against Drouin.

Drouin and Wonthaggi have had very similar rises back to competitiveness in the Gippsland League, so Saturday’s contest will be a perfect measuring stick of the club’s progress’.

Wonthaggi may not be the only one with a Collingwood premiership star running out for them on Saturday, with Dale Thomas a chance to make his return to Drouin.

In the West Gippsland Competition, reigning premiers, Phillip Island will host traditional rivals Kilcunda Bass and Inverloch-Kongwak will host one of the premiership favourites, Cora Lynn.

Phillip Island is looking as strong as ever for their second premiership defence in West Gippsland, but Kilcunda Bass will be hoping to make a big statement with their new and improved side.

Phillip Island have well and truly had the wood over their rivals in the last couple of years but the KB faithful will definitely be hoping to bring the Eric Marks Cup back over the bridge.

Inverloch-Kongwak and Cora Lynn know a bit about facing each other in big games, the two were the first ever senior football grand finalists of the West Gippsland Competition.

Inverloch-Kongwak took that game, but Cora Lynn certainly stamped their authority as a dominant force in 2019.

They fell agonisingly short of their first West Gippsland premiership against Phillip Island in 2019, so they’ll be hoping to go one better in 2021.

But Inverloch-Kongwak won’t be an easy beat and they too will be expecting big things in the upcoming season.

Plus, Lang Lang and Poowong will compete on Good Friday at the new state-of-the-art recreation reserve at Caldermeade.