Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Ready to light up Saturday night

Euroa and Mansfield are looking forward to facing off under lights tomorrow night when their Goulburn Valley Football League season kicks off.

HANNAH DRISCOLL April 11, 2014 3:05am

Euroa’s season opener against Mansfield tomorrow night carries extra weight for the club with captain Craig Bamford lining up for his 300th match.

Two new coaches in Goulburn Valley Football League, the Magpies’ Nathan Gilliland and the Eagles’ Simon Dolling, face their first real test under lights at Euroa’s Memorial Oval.

Gilliland said everyone was looking forward to seeing how they shaped up, and there was no better way than a night game at home.

‘‘Round one is always a big game, this has a bit more meaning for us this week,’’ Gilliland said.

‘‘Bamford has put in 17 years or something travelling back from Melbourne, to play 300 is a huge effort.

‘‘The boys will have extra incentive for him, but also for us it’s a new era for us as a footy club too with starting our own journey and we’ll see where it takes us, but we’ll be going out determined to do everything we can to win the game.’’

Gilliland expected to have four players out to the VFL, but twins Will and JD Hayes, who are on Footscray Bulldogs’ list, will line up alongside older brother Ben.

The playing coach also expected to debut Anthony Long on a forward flank and Adam Tarrant and Murray Bushranger Nate Trotter in the backline, while Robbie Wood and Andrew Bell will be among those making a return.

Matt Quinton fractured a fibula in a practice match and is expected to miss another six weeks, while Eagles defender Rowan Smith also broke his arm in a practice hit-out and is expected to miss another four.

Dolling was confident tomorrow’s team had a good blend of youth and veterans and would give a good account, but said the first few rounds would also be about testing the waters.

‘‘We think we’ve had a good pre-season and we’ve created a fairly good list. The proof will be on Saturday when we come up against Euroa, who’ve recruited pretty well looking at their list,’’ Dolling said.

‘‘They’ve got a couple of ins there and they’ll certainly be better than they were last year, I imagine which will be a good test for us to find out where we’re at.’’

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