Woodsmen welcome back ‘The Butcher’
The Woodsmen will be buoyed by the return of 2014 Premiership hero Jay ‘The Butcher’ Baker tonight when they take on the Ormeau Bulldogs at the Nest at 7:30pm.
The Butcher enjoyed an outstanding 2014 Season playing through the midfield and up forward to bag 70+ goals, including 5 in the first half of the Grand Final victory over Wynnum to complete an undefeated season. Suffering a ACL tear early in 2015 has seen him out of action for almost 2 years until his return tonight. Also returning to the side ishis good friend Steve ‘Forba’ Forbes, who lead the goalkicking in 2015 in Baker’s absence and should be a good inclusion after also missing 2016 with knee troubles.
Also returning to the side this week are Scott ‘Burnsy’ Matthews, Chris ‘the Stink’ La Burniy, Blake Barkley, Andrew ‘Thommo’ Thomson, Jake Fuentes, Rick Masterson, Dylan ‘Mudgee’ Mudge, Sam ‘Irish’ Banim and Jordan ‘Walshy’ Walsh – keeping a consistent theme for the Woodies this year with mass changes from week to week – this week perhaps being a record 11 changes after last weeks draw vs the ladder leaders!
The side again has an experimental look to it this week, with regular full-back Paul Eaton given another chance on the wing, with Andrew Bell to hold down full back again. Key posts Tim Green and Gerard Moore are unavailable, with Sam Long moving to CHB and The Butcher filling Moore’s shoes at CHF. With fitness a concern for the Butcher, Forba and Burnsy – its likely the 3 of them will rotate evenly through the bench and 2 key forward posts to manage game time.
Livewires in Irish Sammy Banim and Jakey Fuentes will be crucial cogs at ground level up forward, while the experienced Mihalopoulous will offer both a marking target and the ability to mop up at ground level to add to his goalkicking tally. Thommo will be looking to battle hard in the ruck against a bigger opponent to give the midfield first use, and the highly rated Woodsmen backline will be well serviced by the return of Mudge and traditional ‘bash brothers’ Stink and Matty Prior for their first game together in 2017.
Ormeau currently sit at the bottom of the ladder, but its an even competition this year and gave the Woodies a fright in Round 1, so the Woodies will need to be switched on to ensure victory.
Come on down to the nest tonight, enjoy a Coopers and a meal to watch the Woodies slug it out in another Friday night classic!