SURFERS Paradise have had to make four changes to their line-up for another Gold Coast derby, this one against at Coolangatta.
By Terry Wilson
Suspensions to key-position Troy Armstrong (one week) and ruckman Mick Cunningham (two weeks) have added to general soreness victims Stuart Keel and Josh Orton, both ruled out of the clash with the Blues.
But the Demons have the services of ruckman Nick Barling, on permit from Taylors Lakes in Vitoria, another ruckman in Ash Freeman, defender Regan Finlay and wingman/forward Chris Mitchell.
The last time these two Gold Coast sides clashed proved to be the end for then Surfers coach Rob Martin, who parted company with the club in the wake of a 27-point loss at Len Peak Oval.
Since then the Demons have gone along nicely under Beau Zorko and they remain well in the hunt for a finals berth, albeit with ever-diminishing hopes as they walk the finals tightrope, needing to win all of their remaining fixtures.
“We can only keep producing good performances and getting the desired results,” said Zorko, who agrees the only finals spots likely to become available would be those of Palm Beach and Wilston-Grange.
“The last time we played Cooly they beat us, so we have a score to settle .”
Coolangatta continue to ring in the changes, this week coming up with five of them.
Out this weekend are Josh Rogers and Leigh Missen (omitted), Riley Willemse (uni commitments), Dalton Sanderson (discipline) and Andrew Boyce (flu).
he ins are Papua New Guineans Emmaus Wartuvo and Junior Henry, Jacob Spackman, Andrew Haines and Danny Maxwell.
Asked about the circumstances of a team winning, them having five changes, Coolangatta coach Neil Mackay said: “Yeah, it is unusual, but it’s probably because last weekend we had a couple of withdrawals just before the game.
“Surfers beat us in round seven, but this is a winnable game. They’re the next team above us on the ladder.”
Mackay agreed the addition of midfield prime movers Jake Ryan and Dan Green to the Surfers side – they both missed the round seven engagement – adds plenty to the Demons.
“They’ve strengthened their midfield and if we can match it with them there we’re in with a show,” said Mackey.