The top of the table Woodsmen head down the Mt Lindsay Highway tomorrow evening to take on old foes, the Jimboomba Redbacks who currently sit in 6th place after returning to the Division 1 Friday Night competition in 2018.
The Redbacks and Woodsmen have slugged it out in some huge battles over the last decade, including consecutive Grand Finals in 2009 and 2010, sharing a win each. The Woodies were also knocked out of finals by the Redbacks in 2012, 2013 (extra time) and 2016 - so the rivalry remains strong.
As is always the case with the Woodsmen, there are 8 changes to the side that comfortably accounted for Maroochydoore at McCarthy Homes Oval last week. Out go Will Lloyd, Ryan Colcough, Sam Banim (all unavailable), Andrew Thomson, Scott Matthews, Jeffson Fehr-Smith (both injured) Sempatike Kwizera & Braydon Thomas (Reserves)
Into the side come Matty Prior, Greg Matthews, Brodie Easton, Tim McEvoy, Shayne Baldwyn, Max Webber, Andrew Bell & Simon Purkiss - a massive mix of experience and youth. Welcome to Max Webber and Brodie Easton who make their Woodies debut!
The Woodsmen were extremely clean with their ball movement last week, especially dangerous on the rebound from half-back. Despite significant changes through the backline and midfield, there is sufficient experience, skill and smarts to continue this brand of football in the expansive Redbacks home deck.
Gabe McKinnon, despite starring in a key defensive post last week will shift into the ruck in the absence of Andrew Thomson and due to the abundance of defenders in the 22 this week - a few players will be given an opportunity to show their talents around goal.
A ground level on-ball division of Chris Judson, Brodie Easton and Sam Curtis will have ample rotations with Ben Ness coming through the bench and the ability of Chris Davis and Shayne Baldwin to push through the middle.
As with any Woodsmen side, the back 6 looks extremely solid once again, despite changes to both key posts with the inclusion of Andrew Bell and veteran Simon Purkiss. The experience and footy smarts of Tim McEvoy and the Young brothers, Josh and Travis will be important as the Woodies set up behind the ball, while Nick Kelly offers excellent speed and dash from deep in defence.
Up front there is plenty of firepower, with Matt Hockley in a rich vein of form kicking 12 goals across the previous 2 rounds and 2017 competition leading goalkicker Chris Mihalopoulos coming out of the square. Chris Davis offers good decision making going forward and superb defensive pressure, while the mercurial Shayne Baldwyn is good for a couple of hangers, a goal of the year contender and the odd clanger as well!
Woodsmen vs Jimboomba Redbacks Friday 11 May, Glen Logan Park, Jimboomba @ 730pm
B: Trav - AB - Nick
HB: TMac - Simon - Josh
C: K - Juddo - Alec
HF: ChrisD - Hocks - Shayno
F: Moe - Mika - Maxy
Foll: Heinzy - Dalby - Sam
Int: Mitch - Nessy - Mudgee - MattyP
EMG: Brendan - Todd - Josh