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Coopers - Friday Footy Preview

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Coopers - Friday Footy Preview

Andrew Thomson


The Woodsmen will take on Sandgate this evening at the nest at 7:30pm with plenty to play for.  After suffering just their 2nd defeat of the season last week, they now take on 3rd placed Sandgate and a victory will put a decent gap between the sides fighting it out for 2nd spot.

As is always the case, there are plenty of changes to the side again this week with key players Lachlan Woods, Andrew Thomson, Jake Fuentes and Corey Hopkins making up a big list of inclusions.  The Woodies were also rocked last week by the loss of 2016 B&F winner Sam Curtis in the opening minute of the game, and should he take the field tonight he will add to an already important quartet.

However, on the debit side the lynch pin of defence in superstar centre half back, Tim Green is unavailable as is the versatile utility Matt Garland.  Also out is important spearhead, Jay Baker who after 4 solid return games from an ACL is taking a well earnt rest, and in form Blake Barkley who popped a hammy at training during the week.

The back 6 remains solid, with a full back line of Matty Prior, Paul Eaton and new recruit Travis Young - while the halfback line mixes experience and speed with regular winger Kiran Verma relishing his role running off half back, next to Scott Matthews filling the key post and Corey Hopkins offering exceptional ball use and footy smarts on the other flank.

Through the middle of the ground, Chris Davis moves onto one wing to compliment youngster Elliott Heath on the other.  These 2 are no doubt the fittest blokes in the side and will power through plenty of work out wide.  In the centre, Lachlan Woods comes back into the side to create a particularly tough and aggressive on-ball division with Andrew Thomson in the ruck and Matt Hockley at ground level.  With Sam Curtis under an injury cloud, new recruit Fraser Bliesner will fill that on-ball role with his outside speed and solid ball use going inside 50.

Across half-forward the Woodies look particularly strong with Lochie McDonald in good recent form with his exceptional long kicking and ability in the air.  Gerard Moore at Centre Half Forward always straightens up the side and provides a quality target, while the livewire Irish Sammy Banim will patrol the other flank with his speed an often mercurial goal sense.

Deep forward is a beautiful mix of experience and footy smarts, as well as a bit of flair from the young gun in Jake Fuentes.  Coach Chris Mihalopoulos will play from the goal square in a shorter than usual full forward line, complimented by the smarts and experience of Sean Toohey in the pocket.

Plenty of depth in the side this week, with in the in form Andrew Bell on the bench showing the embarassment of riches the Woodies have when it comes to full-backs along with Greg Matthews providing midfield/forward depth, Shayne Baldwin offering good utility options and Sam Curtis potentially coming off the bench due to a bit of soreness from last week.

Get on down to the Nest tonight to support the boys in what promises to be a quality encounter! Enjoy a meal and a Coopers along with a quality game of footy.

B: MattyP - Pauly - Trav

HB: K - Burnsy - Chopper

C: ChrisD - Woodsy - Elliott

HF: Lochie - G - Irish

F: Jakey - Mika - Happy

Foll: Thommo - Hocks - Fraser

Int: AB - Shayne - Moe - Sammy

Emergencies: Mudgee - Cameron Smith (Colts)