Bottle Greens up for the fight

11-07-2018 by admin

HAMPDEN coach Chris McLaren believes the league can put a horror recent record against the Ovens and Murray behind it when they clash at Warrnambool on Saturday.

After being mauled by 125 points at Wangaratta in 2014 and 48 points in Melbourne in 2012, McLaren said it was important to hit back strongly.

“We have been smacked the lasttwo times we have played the O and M so hopefully we can turn that around,” McLaren said.

“I don’t how many times we have played but the ledger would be well in their favour.

“We’re certainly hoping to give a good account of ourselves.

“I’m sure we’re like the Ovens and Murray in that you always like to have a few more players available but in saying that we are happy with everyone that’s in the squad.

“I’mlooking forward to a good contest.”

Hampden will ramp up its preparations at training on Tuesday night before finalising a line-up on Thursday.

McLaren, who has coached the league side for the past two years and is associated with Koroit, said he was confident of naming a well-balanced side.

“You lose a few guys through injury from the initial squad for one reason or another but we have prepared for that,” he said.

“We will have a few young guys and experienced guys and a couple of Indigenous players who bring real leg speed.

“We just tried to pick the best players we could get, but at the same time are mindful of having leg speed on a big groundlike Reid Oval.”

The Bottle Greens are set to unleash Western Australian cousinsCedric and Paul Cox on the Ovens and Murray.

Cedric plays forCamperdown while Paul joined rival club Hamilton this year.

“They are really exciting,” he said.

“It’s great having them in the side as they give us some real pace.”

North Warrnambool is set to have a strong representation in the squad after being unbeaten in the opening six home and away matches.

The same can be said for Albury in the Ovens and Murray with Tiger stars Josh Mellington, Joel Mackie, Brayden O’Hara and Daniel Cross being groomed for key roles.

The O and Mwent down to Pensinsula at Albury Sportsgroundlast year and aloss to Hampden could see the league slip out of the top 10 with a statewide ranking system to be introduced from 2017.

The league will announce its side after a final training session at Albury on Wednesday night.

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