Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Swans and Cats are eager to hit field

Shepparton Swans and Mooroopna will be giving it their all from the opening bounce of the first game Goulburn Valley Football League when they clash tomorrow.

HANNAH DRISCOLL April 4, 2014 4:15am

Mooroopna captain Kane Atkinson and Swans captain Jessie Finnen test the water ahead of their round one clash in Goulburn Valley Football League.

The hard work of pre-season is over, it is time for that long-awaited first bounce to start a new season.

Shepparton Swans and Mooroopna will start the Goulburn Valley Football League competition tomorrow with both sides aching to get onto Princess Park to begin their campaigns.

Swans coach Brett Warburton said there would be some keen to see if the Swans were a one-hit wonder after their phenomenal rise last year to a preliminary final.

The core Swans group will be supported by recruits such as Justin Maddern and Brady Childs from South Bendigo, Myrtleford’s Josh Chapman and Shepparton United’s Tom Campbell.

He believed the Cats had some terrific young local players coming through and expected a tough outing, despite their departures.

‘‘I look at the young kids they’re going to play and most of those young kids are local boys and that’s a really good thing,’’ Warburton said.

‘‘For us as a club that’s been through that situation you play with a lot of belief because they’re your mates that you’ve grown up with.

‘‘It’s a massive challenge for us to be able to stick with our game plan and deliver against a side that will be very competitive and wanting to outplay us.’’

The Swans’ reigning leading goal-kicker Dan Campbell (hand) and Shepparton recruit BJ Squire (ankle) had to have fitness tests at training last night, but Warburton was confident Geelong-based defender Dan Lovick would play, despite injuring his knee in the practice match against Deer Park.

Alex Overs, who was suspended last season for use of a prohibited substance, is likely to come through the reserves after injuring his groin in his first training session he was eligible to do once his suspension expired.

Mooroopna forward Rob Osborne (hip) and Pat O’Sullivan (knee) are also out for the Cats, while VFL-listed players Mitch Keddell and Pat Contin are unlikely to play due to several injuries to Richmond reserves’ line-up.

Mooroopna coach Blake Campbell said there would be about 10 players tomorrow who were either new to the club or making their senior debut.

He said the Cats had changed the game plan and would keep it as simple as possible, and the big focus this season was effort.

‘‘Our two practice matches we improved from one to the other which has been really good and we’ve got some real set objectives in terms of our key performance indicators and these sort of things that I know everyone else relies on, but it all comes back to effort,’’ Campbell said.

‘‘We think we’ll give the Swans a real big run for their money if our effort’s there, if our effort’s not there we’re going to be in trouble against anyone we play.’’

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