A short trip west to take on the Leeton-Whitton Crows awaits the Hoppers this Saturday and for two of our senior teams, a chance at redemption and a return to the winners circle if they’re up to it. Coolamon Grasshoppers senior selection team of Jamie Maddox, Connor Neyland and Mitch Robinson have made two changes to the first grade side beaten by Wagga Tigers last week. Into the Hoppers side comes U17 Lachie Crawford after a few weeks back in the thirds, as well as Jack McPherson for a well-deserved debut against the Crows after several consecutive strong performances in the Magoos. Congratulations Nugget!
Out of the side goes Zach Bradley for a fortnight with a zipper on his face after suffering a serious head clash and spilt cheekbone against Tigers. Plenty of onlookers commented on how ugly it all looked, though a few keen observers weren’t sure if the comment-ers were referring to Zach or Weanie Bradley’s rig after Wean took his shirt off to stem the blood flow from Zach’s face and assisted him from the field. Also out of the side goes Ryan Allen with a leg problem for a couple of weeks. With the number of kms Ryano racks up each week down back for the Hoppers, it’s little wonder he’s got a crook leg.
Further on the injury front, Jerry Maslin is a couple of weeks away after a leg injury at training last week; Lochie Dhurrkay has returned home for a family funeral and will be another week or so before he's back; Jacon Lampton is still recovering from a broken foot; and a host of other boys including Sam Robinson (shoulder), Kyle Woods (hand) and Steve Senior (ankle), are all a few weeks away from returning to the field.
The Crows greet us winless at this point of the season, and struggling most weeks for points. Make no mistake though, no matter where they are on the ladder or how many wins they have or haven’t had, the Crows at home is always guaranteed to be a massive test. They still carry a stack of class from their premiership side a couple of seasons ago, have a few back from injury and they know their first win is not far off. Meanwhile the Hoppers have a few injuries and a few sore bodies. Our boys will need to turn up in the right head space and fire from the get go, before they start looking forward to a week off, a body reset, and part two of home-and-away.
First Grade 2.10 pm
B: Nick Buchanan, Will Graetz, Luke McLoughlin
HB: Josh Buchanan, Connor Neyland, Hayden Bradley
C: BJ Glyde, Nick Pleming, Coop McKelvie
HF: Shannon Charlie, Joe Redfern, Lach Crawford
F: Jamie Maddox, Jake Barrett, Matt McGowan
Fol: Anthony Atkin, Max Hillier, Luke Redfern
IC: (from) Tom Stubbs, Benj Gillett, Jack McPherson
In: L Crawford, J McPherson (debut)
Out: Zach Bradley, Ryan Allen
The Magoos come off their best win of the season after outlasting the Tigers on our home deck in a huge effort from all concerned. They go into the clash knowing Leeton have struggled all season and that they’re likely to be limited to a 16-a-side game. The boys will be keen to finish the first round of home-and-away on a high before putting their feet up for a fortnight’s spell.
Reserve Grade 12 Noon
Coaches: Daniel Crocker and Shaun Bradley
B: Andy Shaw, Lach Owens, Dylan Frame
HB: Jarrod Edyvean, Jack Mason, Ryan Chamberlain
C: Tom Besgrove
HF: Isaac Pattison, Dave Chandler, Lach Pleming
F: Tyler Owens, Tim Garrett, Adam Gain
Fol: Ben Edyvean, Will Alchin, Hayden Leary
Int: Will Donoghue, Tom Heffer, Tom Carr, Adam Carroll, Heath Petty, Jeremy Robinson
In the Thirds the young Hoppers need a win to keep in touch with the top five. Leeton sit just below us on the ladder, probably courtesy of the number of young blokes they have in the top grade. The Crows are always a serious battle at Leeton Showground. The boys will need to start well early and work really hard on their possession game and communication, not giving it away cheap and allowing their skilled ball players to dominate. Look for the on-ballers to give us first use and set the day up well for the men in Green.
Under 17.5s 10.20 am
Coaches: Hayden Bradley and Max Hillier
B: Will Doyle, Jake Neale, Jack Foster
HB: Jake Fifield, Callum Burns, Jake Manley
C: Pete McCallum, Mitch Stibbard, Darcy Mackay
HF: Hugh Wakefield, Damien Wells, Abdul Umar
F: Archer Bucheggar, Will McGowan, Nate Bloor
Fol: Harry Allen, Bayden Leary, Alim Farah
Int: Lachie Payne, Colt Parker
Go Green Men!!