Plenty of big men to fill Josh’s shoes

OVENS and Murray coach Matt Pendergast says he’s unlikely to need a replacement for Josh Hamilton in the squad to face the Hampden league.

The Lavington ruckman-defender suffered a serious hamstring injury in the second quarter of Saturday’s 53-point home win against North Albury, ruling him out of this week’s big clash at Albury and the interleague game on May 27 at Visy Park.

Pendergast said Pig-eons forward Marcus McMillan remained in contention, while he said Myrtleford ruckman Ben McIntyre was “probably a bit stiff” to miss the initial 47-man contingent that has been reduced to 45 with Hamilton and Yarrawonga’s Brendan Fevola ruled out.

If they can stay injury-free, Scott Meyer (Raiders) and Karl Norman (Rovers) are likely to share the ruck duties.

“We’ve probably got enough big men,” Pendergast said yesterday.

“McMillan is a swingman if we need him.

“Brant Dickson played well on the weekend and he’s another ruck option.”

But Pendergast hasn’t ruled out late changes to the squad, which had a light recovery session in Wangaratta on Sunday morning.

Wangaratta recruit James Wong had come into calculations after his match-winning six goals against Wodonga Raiders at the weekend.

“We talked about him yesterday,” he said.

“Watch this space.

“We wouldn’t rule out guys coming in.”

With more than a dozen squad members based in Melbourne, Pendergast said he hoped to have a training run in the Victorian capital next week.

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