TORQUAY is still deciding on exactly which mix of players to take into tomorrow’s (Saturday, April 24) top of the table BFL clash against Barwon Heads.
Both sides are undefeated going into the game at Howard Harmer Reserve, with three wins each.
The Tigers have earmarked nine players that could go into the seniors lineup to replace their three outs: Lucas Anderson – suspended for two weeks after the club unsuccessfully challenged his one-week ban for an incident against Drysdale – Paul Burchell and Thomas Diamond.
Torquay coach Dom Gleeson declined to comment about Anderson’s suspension but said the Tigers would likely decide their final seniors side at about 9am tomorrow, to help determine the makeup of the reserves side.
“Jesse Dawson can go through the midfield, we think Ben Raidme is back this week, Sam Caruso can go through the midfield, and Lachie Bonney is a new recruit from Bendigo and he’d play forward.”
Saturday’s game will be a rematch of the 2019 grand final, which Torquay lost to Barwon Heads by 14 points.
Gleeson said the Tigers and the Seagulls were both in good form.
“I think you’d be naive to think that (the loss) doesn’t mean anything, I think they’ve moved on more quickly than what we would have. Not that we’ve discussed it through the week – that’s the past, we’re looking forward to the future and excited about the team we’re going up against. We’ll see where we’re at against the best team in the competition.
“We’re just excited to go down to Barwon Heads and give them a run on their home ground, but we know they’re a formidable team. It’s going to be a great game, I think – if anyone’s not doing anything, it’d be good to get down there and watch it.”
He said he had noticed some kind of hangover across the league from the lack of football played in 2020.
“I think skills, most definitely, have dropped. For a lot of guys, they haven’t touched as much footy as they would have liked, and I think overall fitness has dropped a bit, but we’ll see some improvement in that over the year.
“From talking to other coaches, they’ve mentioned injuries, resting players and things like that because of the load they didn’t put their body under last year.
“It might seem a bit weird but there is a concern that we don’t want to overload our players coming off the back of doing nothing for 12 months. We’re seeing soft tissue injuries happen at training in the warmup. It was always going to happen, we’ve just got to stay ahead of it.”
The reserves game starts at noon, and the seniors game starts at 2.10pm.
For full fixtures, head to aflbarwon.com.au