Key personnel will be missing from Blighty's outfit when it hosts the reigning premier tomorrow.August 1, 2014 2:30am
Blighty coach Rob Wren says the Redeyes will have no trouble responding to last week’s big loss when they host flag favourite Jerilderie tomorrow.
A 99-point loss three weeks out from finals is nobodies idea of good preparation, but Wren isn’t reading too much in to the Strathmerton mauling.
In fact, the Redeyes are fixated on the first week of finals when they take on Berrigan in a season defining showdown, using the remaining rounds of the Picola & District Football League as preparation.
‘‘We were able to a bit out of the Strathmerton loss. I tried a few things that didn’t work and I wasn’t too concerned about the scoreboard,’’ Wren said.
‘‘We have a bit up our sleeve and we know we are playing Berrigan in the finals so that’s where our focus is.
‘‘But if we go deeper into the finals its good to be playing the top teams at the this time of year.’’
Blighty has battled away without its best team all year, winning eight games so far for what will be a fourth-place finish.
It will again be without key personnel tomorrow, with key talls Jake and Drew Plattfuss (overseas) and running midfielder Jarrod Wilson (foot) unavailable.
Hard-nut Ryan Chadderton (knee) is still another week or two away, while fellow onballer Brad Haines has returned from overseas and will play reserves.
Wren expects tough backman Simon Maher and young gun Jack Bradford to come back into the side.
‘‘We’re sort of managing it (the injury list) at the moment. We know we are going to finish fourth on the ladder so anyone with niggling injuries will be rested and anyone right to play will play,’’ Wren said.
‘‘Brad Robson played three quarters last week so it was good to get him back.’’
Robson’s return strengthens the Redeyes’ midfield depth of Sam Singleton, Kyel Bain, Tristan Wilson and Judd Barnes, and they will each need to be at their best to quell Jerilderie’s gun onballers.
Wren said he will use back pocket player Robbie Pyle to run with in-form Dees star Andrew May.
A former Pearce medallist, May’s dangerous boot has fed goalkicking legend Aaron Purcell on a platter all season.
With 42 goals in the past three weeks, Purcell’s season tally now sits at 101 and he will be locked in a duel with Blighty’s Jack Eastman tomorrow.
But with Jerilderie boasting so much depth all over the ground, the battle with Purcell may not even prove important and the Dees should post a strong win regardless.
Selection: Jerilderie comfortably.
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