WILSTON-Grange have five vital inclusions for their clash with Springwood at Hickey Park on Saturday.
Coming at a time when critics continue to underestimate the Gorillas, things could not be brighter for coach David Martin and his charges, who continue to be written off as premiership threats.
By Terry Wilson
Asked about the view that outsiders look at the Gorillas as the side most likely to miss out on a finals double-chance, Martin responded with: “I don’t think so, but everyone else does.
“If we win three games we finish top three, even second, so we’ll worry about what we have to do.”
Buoying the club this weekend are the returns of five of the club’s best, four of them definitely in the top dozen on the playing roster.
Returning are midfielder Elliot Hohenhaus, ruckman Jim McMahon, forward Lachlan Moir, midfielder Zac Nolan and central defender Matt Pardew.
“They’re good players to be coming back into the side at this stage of the year,” noted Martin.
The absence of the five perhaps best explains why the Gorillas have slipped in popularity ratings.
“But we’ve been disrupted since the Magpies way back,” said Martin. “We lost seven that day.”
Out of the Grange line-up this weekend are Josh Brown and Sam Mitchell (omitted), Jake Whitehead (injured) and unavailable pair Anthony Penny and Brendan McGrath.
Saturday’s rivals Springwood have been ravaged by injuries, said coach Paul Opbroek.
The Pumas can hardly afford to lose the likes of in-form Matt Hockley (ankle), Chris Veneman (knee), Adrian Sipple (hamstring) on top of the omission of Josh Menz and Nick Tronc.
The Pumas brought in back pockets Braiden Fitzpatrick and Rob Raudino, first-gamer Wayne Ollington, a utility, and forwards Jake McGill and Aaron Richardson.
Opbroek revealed the run of injuries at the club left officials searching for numbers to fill the reserves squad for the weekend.