Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Battle of Apple Isle at Mansfield

Acquaintances will be renewed tomorrow when Mansfield's Tasmanian players take on Tatura and Sonny Whiting in Goulburn Valley Football League.

DAMEN FRANCIS June 6, 2014 3:05am

The Goulburn Valley Football League’s Apple Isle showdown has lost some of its flavour.

Mansfield will be without three of its considerable Tasmanian contingent for tomorrow’s date with Tatura and its star southerner Sonny Whiting.

Charlie Riewoldt, brother of Richmond star Jack, and Rohan Swan suffered season-ending knee injuries last week, while full-forward Mitch Williamson continues to battle a hamstring problem that has sidelined him since round two.

Ben Fagan, Harry Riewoldt, Chris Hensby and Tim Orchard remain in the side.

Eagles coach Simon Dolling praised the attitude of the injured players and was confident Williamson would return soon.

‘‘It’s really tough for those guys, especially Swanny who just got back after another long-term injury,’’ Dolling said.

‘‘He’s a bit down in the dumps, but I spoke to him (Wednesday) and he’s still committed to the club and this maybe gives him an opportunity to get the rest of his body right.

‘‘That’s Charlie’s third knee surgery and he’s only 21, so that’s really unfortunate.

‘‘We had Mitch come and see a specialist on Saturday morning through our connections with Craig Kelly.

‘‘The specialists in Tassie said it was a grade one tear, but the doctor over here said it was a strained tendon close to the top of his knee and that has twice the healing period, so at the moment he’s a 70 per cent chance for next week.’’

Williamson has continued to travel over for games and support the Eagles and Dolling said the travel had not had a detrimental impact on his recovery.

As for Tatura’s Tasmanian threat, Dolling backed Travis Hine to get the job.

‘‘The Tassie boys have given me a good run down on him,’’ he said.

‘‘From what I’m told he’s not overly big, but can take a mark and kicked 90-odd goals last year.

‘‘Whenever I’ve asked Travis to do a job he’s usually been able to do it.’’

Whiting has 22 goals in six games this season and looms as a major threat at Mansfield Recreation Reserve tomorrow.

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