Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Simpkin to run with Bushrangers

Mooroopna's Jy Simpkin will debut for Murray Bushrangers tomorrow when they take on Tasmania in TAC Cup.

GEORGINA CAHILL July 25, 2014 3:15am

Jy Simpkin will pull on the Murray Bushrangers jumper for the first time tomorrow against Tasmania.

Mooroopna’s Jy Simpkin will make his TAC Cup debut when Murray Bushrangers line up against Tasmania tomorrow.

Simpkin, 16, was one of five inclusions to this week’s side.

Bushrangers coach Darren Ogier was excited Simpkin would line up as the 23rd player.

‘‘He’s been superb, he’s trained with us a few times,’’ Ogier said.

‘‘He’s got great running capabilities. His ball handling and ball use are of a high standard.’’

Simpkin was rewarded after representing Victoria Country at the under-16 national carnival earlier this month.

While Simpkin comes in, the Bushrangers will go into the round 15 clash without a number of experienced players.

Captain Nick Mellington is sidelined with a hamstring injury, while fellow Benalla teammate Caleb Marchbank suffered a season-ending knee injury against Western Jets two weeks ago.

Suspended Brody Webster will also miss the clash, alongside injured Tom Holman.

‘‘Nick’s our captain and he’s been superb in the midfield. We’ll certainly miss his inside drive,’’ Ogier said.

‘‘Caleb’s just a pure talent and the other players certainly stand six inches taller when he’s playing.’’

Euroa’s Nate Trotter, Finley’s Levi Middleton, Mooroopna’s Michael Reidy and Wangaratta Magpie Jackson Clarke come into the side.

The Bushrangers will push for a top-eight spot when they tackle 15th-placed Tasmania.

Western Jets and Eastern Ranges also sit on six wins and seven losses, but are ahead of the Bushrangers, who are ninth, on percentage.

‘‘We need to win this game to keep our finals hopes alive,’’ Ogier said.

Ogier’s side had a bye last week, but claimed a thrilling 15-point win against the Western Jets in round 14.

He said his side needed to make the most of its opportunities going forward.

‘‘We have to capitalise on our forward entries,’’ Ogier said.

‘‘We were much better in that area last week.’’

Ogier said Seymour’s Josh Schache and Cobram’s Dion Metzner formed a strong Bushrangers forward combination.

‘‘We’re a bit taller than (Tasmania) are,’’ he said.

‘‘It’ll be hard for them to cover all our marking options.’’

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