CUP final “villain” Cam McCormack will play no part in a rematch of last year’s decider between Wodonga Diamonds and Myrtleford tomorrow.
The keeper was the central figure in an incident that saw the Savoy’s English import Charlie Romain red-carded.
In a first for the association the disciplinary board later dropped all charges.
McCormack, a standout during Diamonds league and Cup winning season, was expected to be unavailable because of commitments to cricket’s defending premiers Lavington but that association is understood to have ended two weeks ago.
But Diamonds coach Jimmy Bell said McCormack, along with several other key players, were battling niggling injuries.
“We have had a difficult pre-season with key players picking up injuries and so we are already having to draw on the depth at the club in round one,” he said.
“McCormack, Jason Colombera and Paul Brunec are all under an injury cloud and unlikely to play, while Ben Whitehead and Hudson Magerstein are still getting over injuries from last year.
“But in a positive note there has been a marked increase in intensity in the past four weeks.
“The Andronicos Cup was a good test for us and we improved dramatically during the course of the day.
“We know Myrtleford are always tough at their ground and have great support but we know we still have a quality squad.”
Myrtleford’s new coach Nathan Mirt said the past was the past.
The club’s two English imports, Lewis Holloway and George Taylor, arrived in Australia last weekend and played an intra club game on Tuesday night.
“It hasn’t been an ideal pre-season but this is a new squad and we are looking to the future,” Mirt said.
“People at home are talking up the game but we are not concerned with that.
“We will develop a system as the year progresses but will take a conservative approach to Sunday and look to make the most on the counter attack.
“Diamonds are a quality side and a terrific club, they may have lost some players from last year but we know they will be well organised and disciplined.”