WODONGA coach Ben Hollands is refusing to panic despite the club’s horrendous run with injuries.
The Bulldogs have 12 players on the sidelines following Saturday’s opening-round loss to Lavington and could be forced to tinker with their game plan in a bid to cater for a lack of height.
Defender Chris Macey is the latest player to run into trouble after suffering a season-ending knee injury.
“The old list is pretty long and our depth is being tested for sure,” Hollands said.
“I certainly can’t recall at any other time in my senior footy career seeing a list this long at this time of the year.
“We won’t be making excuses, but will look to tweak our game style a little to suit the squad we have on the park.
“There is a lot of character and strength in our group who have had quite a few challenges thrown at them over the past few years and I think they are well equipped to deal with a bit of adversity.
“I expect us to be even more committed with our approach over the next few weeks.”
Ruckman Matt Seiter is on the long-term injury list with a knee problem while Sam Livingstone will return from a hamstring injury next month.
Young giant Mitch King, who is listed with the Murray Bushrangers, would have been back-up option but is out for the season with a knee injury.
Hollands has a fortnight to regroup for Wodonga’s next match against North Albury at John Flower Oval on April 19.
“The key message for me to the boys is that when you are tested like this you have to raise the bar and not focus on any negatives,” Hollands said.
“On the weekend our boys really stood up for a large chunk of the game, but came up a bit short in the last 15 minutes.
“We will keep looking for ways to lift our level to beat teams like Lavington.”
Sam Wortmann, Dylan Beattie, Jake Hicks and Tyrone Price are expected to press for senior selection in coming weeks after interrupted pre-seasons.