LEONGATHA coach Paul Carbis will have an interesting time at the selection table this Thursday after the Parrots finished with 17 fit men following a dour battle against Morwell last Saturday.
The Parrots won the match comfortably enough on the scoreboard but with the wind favouring the town-end of the ground for much of the day, defenders were required to work hard at various stages to stop Morwell getting back into the contest after Leongatha had made a good start in the first quarter.
The only change to the line-up last week was Tim Sauvarin coming back in for the precautionary resting of Chris Verboon, with hamstring tightness during training last week.
But the team was reduced during the match at Morwell on Saturday with both Cade Maskell and Luke Bowman copping hamstring injuries, Maskell after starting strongly to half time with three early goals.
Young onballer Jake Van Der Pligt came off with shoulder soreness and Cam Olden with a bruised sternum.
Aaron Heppell continued to find the ball strongly again this week and would have been among the best again, but he too came off in the last quarter with knee soreness.
“Some of those were precautionary, being early in the season, but yes, we could have anything from two, three, four or five spots open up this week, so we’ll see,” Carbis said this week.
“We’ve had such a great rivalry with Maffra that you always want to be at your best for them but we’re really starting to develop some consistency with the way we want to play our game and we’re seeing that from our young guys as well which is really pleasing.
“Jack Hume’s been doing a really good job for us up forward and both Travis Nash and Will Littlejohn are coming on strongly as well. Trav had an important job for us on a dangerous small forward, and not only did that job but also worked off him as well.
“And they’ll get that added responsibility this week if we’re missing a few.”
Tim Sauvarin also made an instant impact coming into the side as Leongatha continues to draw on young, homegrown talent to stay competitive in a topsy-turvy season.
Several other players stepped up this week to cover the losses.
Jackson Harry played a versatile role, starting down back to help cover the loss of Verboon, combining strongly with Sean Westaway and Josh Schelling, before taking a turn in the ruck and then moving forward to kick two goals after the departure of Maskell.
Matt Borschman was a winner on his wing but was then thrown on to the ball later to provide strong support.
And Nick Nagel who was a bit quiet last week returned to form on Saturday and also showed his ability to switch to defence when moved there in the second half.
So, there was a lot going on in a match where Leongatha was in firm control throughout the day, ultimately finishing seven-goal winners in a meritorious display at Morwell.
Full football coverage in this weeks edition of the South Gippsland Sentinel-Times.
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