The Redeyes stocks have been bolstered with the inclusion of Hawthorn premiership star Brent Guerra.May 16, 2014 3:40am
Blighty has given itself every chance of taking its first big scalp of the Picola and District Football League season with Hawthorn premiership hero Brent Guerra set to take on Strathmerton tomorrow.
It isn’t the first time the Redeyes have had an ex-AFL star lend a hand - they had Anthony Koutoufides boot 14 goals against Mathoura last year - but this time there is more on the line.
The Bulldogs are the no. 1 attacking side in the competition, averaging more than 130 points per game and conceding just 60.
An incredible array of goalkickers, led by Josh Evans (17 goals), Zeke Bunge (13) and Shaun Downie (10), means their forward line often stretches its opposition backmen.
But Blighty coach Rob Wren is hoping Guerra’s expertise will more than account for Strathy’s potent forward set-up.
‘‘It should be a really good day. We got used to it last year with Koutoufides playing and the boys quite enjoyed that, so I think it will be similar on Saturday,’’ Wren said.
‘‘I haven’t actually spoken to him (Guerra) but he will probably play a bit across half-back, in the middle and on the wing.’’
Guerra, a 255-game AFL veteran, retired after the Hawks’ grand final win last year and now plays for Deer Park in Melbourne’s Western Regional Football League.
The 31 year-old missed Deer Park’s five-goal win against Spotswood last week with what coach Marc Bullen called a ‘‘slight niggle’’, but has been in impressive form in previous games.
The side has won all five of its matches and is sitting on top of the ladder.
Blighty is also in good form, having won three games in a row after two losses.
The side’s midfield started to take shape last week with Deniliquin recruit Ryan Chadderton returning, but a knee injury to Brad Robson spoiled the party.
‘‘Robbo’s isn’t a very bad one which is fortunate because he has had some knee troubles in the past,’’ Wren said.
‘‘We’re hoping it will only be three or four weeks.’’
The Redeyes will also be without wounded onballer Brain Haines (knee) who still faces another 5-6 weeks on the sidelines.
But Wren said the only change from Blighty’s side side would be Guerra for Robson.
‘‘Strathmerton seem to be a very quick side,’’ Wren said.
‘‘They like to get forward of the footy a lot and run into open space, which suits their game style.
‘‘If our attack on the footy is really good like it was last week I think we should be super competitive.’’
Selection: Blighty by three goals.
~ Shaun Connor
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