Hawks strengthened

Hawks strengthened

Inverleigh co-coach Chris Moore is confident last week’s morale-boosting win over Geelong West will be the start of the reigning premier’s push towards a top-five finish.

The Hawks’ title defence started inconsistently, but with better availability after early-season injuries, Moore believes they can gather some momentum heading towards the bye, continuing against Anakie at home tomorrow.

“Last week’s win was important for our confidence,” Moore, who coached Anakie for four seasons before Covid, said.

“However, we can’t afford lapses like the third quarter last week, especially with the firepower Anakie.

“They can score in bursts, which we can’t allow them to do.”

Inverleigh will debut reserves premiership player Mitch Bartlett among five changes.

“It’s a testament to the hard work he’s put in,” Moore said.

“He’s been performing at a high level in the reserves, and he deserves his opportunity.”

The Hawks welcome back captain Jack Fiolet, Toby Manganelli, Scott Condy, Mason Dickson and Ryan Robertson from injury.

They replace the injured Michael Grozdanovski (ankle), Paddy Bourke (managed), Billy McIntosh, Cameron Sewell and Jye McEwan.

“Injuries have given players that may not have had the chance at 2 o’clock to show what they can do,” Moore said.

“However, we’re hoping to get some more players back over the next few weeks.”

It is understood that Anakie was set to name Sam Lloyd. However, he won’t play due to illness.

Thomson will unveil a century goalkicker for its trip to Galvin Park to play Werribee Centrals.

Former Tasmanian State League player Jacob Knight kicked 100 goals playing for Hinterland in the QFA Division 2 competition in 2022 after 97 the previous year.

His two games in the Tigers reserves have yielded ten goals, including seven last week against Corio.

Premiership stars Sam Jacka and Jackson Macleod also look set to play.

Jacka’s been sidelined since Round 1 and Macleod is yet to appear at senior level this year.

They replace Caleb Eden (broken collarbone), Jay Diffey and Charlie Russell.

The Centurions have welcomed back Brad Carlton at the expense of Mar Gattek.

Belmont Lions have welcomed back reigning best-and-fairest Harry Thompson and classy midfielder Mikali Harrison for its meeting with North Geelong.

The unbeaten Lions will debut Newtown & Chilwell recruit Daniel Brockett, while Jake Clark has been promoted for his first senior game of the season.

Clunes recruit Damian Fazio will debut for the Magpies, who have welcomed back Luke Schwennesen and Sam Reynolds and recalled Aaron Best and Noah Penny.

Bryce Brockenshire will play his first senior game since the final round of last year.

Cooper Vaughan is in concussion protocols, while Rayden Clarke, Zackary Baker, Jake Dalziel, Cooper Pasque, and Jhye Kenna have been dropped.

Former St Albans big man Preston Pedron will make his senior debut for Bannockburn as it looks to avoid a third consecutive loss against Bell Post Hill.

The Tigers have also regained ruck Ashton Phillips.

However, they have lost Leigham Elzinga to Geelong Falcons duties, while Brendan Schultz has been dropped.

The Panthers welcome back captain Jack Yates and Max Martin, Tanner Martin has been recalled from the reserves, and former Bell Park and Inverleigh junior Lachie Wilson will debut.

They’ll be missing Daniel Banister, who is unavailable, while Lachie Haines, Hunter Norman, and Brody Washington have been dropped.

A rolled ankle will sideline acting Winchelesea coach for Jordan Huff for a challenging clash with East Geelong at Richmond Crescent.

He’s been replaced by Caleb Brown.

The Eagles are unchanged for the first time this year.

In the final game of the round, Corio and Geelong West meet at Shell Reserve.

Gus Fraatz will be missing for the Giants after being concussed in the loss to Inverleigh last week.

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