Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Victoria Country packed with Goulburn Valley players

Goulburn Valley Football League is set to play a big role for Victoria Country One with seven players in line to pull on the jumper against Victoria Metro.

DAMEN FRANCIS July 8, 2014 3:05am

Goulburn Valley Football League has enhanced its status as one of the finest leagues in Victoria, with seven players selected in the 26-man AFL Victoria Country One squad.

Shepparton United’s Tim Looby, Kyabram’s Tom Sheldon and Rochester’s Brendon Hollow were the only three players to retain their place from last year’s team that fell three points short in its clash against VAFA.

The trio was joined in the squad by Benalla pair Luke Morgan and Will Martiniello, Shepparton Swan Justin Maddern and Shepparton’s Daniel Willis.

Two players will be named emergencies after tomorrow night’s final training session, ahead of Saturday’s AFL Victoria Community Cup clash with Victoria Metro at Kardinia Park, Geelong.

Victoria Country One coach Peter Knights confirmed Kyabram defender Jason Morgan and Mooroopna forward Daniel Lewis withdrew from selection through injury.

Murray Football League and Congupna star Daniel Bowles was cut from the preliminary 39-man squad, while Rumbalara’s Brad Dick will miss the rest of the season with a knee injury.

Knights said the final team was still to be decided, but the heavy GVFL contingent was deserved.

‘‘Normally we go with one emergency, but we felt given the circumstances we need to go with two, so we’ll finalise that 24 (tomorrow) night,’’ Knights said.

‘‘It’s the first chance to have a proper training session, because all our others are on Sunday mornings and it’s like a post-match recovery session, so it will be a full-blown session and players can get injured at training.

‘‘Right from the start we’ve concentrated on the top 10 leagues and the way it’s panned out it’s dominated by Geelong, Goulburn Valley and, to a lesser extent, Ovens and Murray, Bendigo, Ballarat.

‘‘We pick a group of players to fit various positions and as it’s turned out there’s been quite a few in that category coming from the GV.

‘‘It’s not an easy task to get the final squad selected, but we do the best we can.’’

GVFL is the most represented league, ahead of Geelong (six), Bendigo (four) and Ovens and Murray and Peninsula with three each.

Three-time Victoria Country One captain and multiple All-Australian Guy Campbell has managed just one reserves game for MFL club Echuca United this season, but is part of Knights’ coaching team.

‘‘It’s terrific to have Guy Campbell as a past captain as a mentor for a lot of the players,’’ Knights said.

‘‘It’s been a big turnover of players this year, so to have someone like ‘Campbo’ to be a part of our coaching panel will provide great mentoring for these players that will be representing the Big V for the first time.’’

Campbell’s replacement as skipper will be named tomorrow night.

Victoria Country One squad:

Goulburn Valley: Brendon Hollow, Tim Looby, Justin Maddern, Will Martiniello, Luke Morgan, Tom Sheldon, Daniel Willis, Ballarat: Steven Kennedy, Chris Giampaolo, Bendigo: Jonathon Coe, Brodie Filo, Jack Geary, Tom Waters, Geelong: Kevin Bourke, Jordan Erskine, Tom Gillies, Daniel Nicholls, Tim Sheringham, Tom Stewart, Hampden: Paul Hinkley, Ovens and Murray: Lonnie Hampton, Joel Mackie, Brandon Symes, Peninsula: Rohan Heasley, Kane Taylor, Lachlan Wallace

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