Business as usual as Dogs hunt first win

THURGOONA coach Jason Sheather isn’t panicking ahead of tomorrow’s clash with Dederang-Mount Beauty at Bunton Park.

While the Bulldogs would have hoped for at least one victory in the opening two rounds of the Tallangatta and District league season, Sheather said there were reasons for the scratchy start.

“It would have been great to win those matches, but we are a young side this year and haven’t played a lot of footy together,” he said.

“I think we have had 10 players debut and seven or eight of our guys are under 21.

“We’re working on our game plan and it’s just taking a bit time.

“We dropped off for a half against Barnawartha and a quarter against Chiltern and it hurt us.

“I’m still very positive though and hopefully we can put that win on the board against Dederang-Mount Beauty.”

Thurgoona’s ability to stay in touch with the league’s heavyhitters will depend on the development of youngsters like John Willis, Dylan Weeding, Darcy Moore, James Wilson, Blair Osmond, Jacob Bennie, Chris Bridle, Callum Butler and Luke Gerecke.

Sheather will be hoping they can complement in-form trio Kade Brown, Lucas Mellier and Sam Cross against the Bombers tomorrow.

Brown has been unstoppable at stages this season, with his pace and long-kicking and shapes as the biggest concern for Dederang-Mount Beauty coach Marc Almond, who has also had his share of headaches in the opening two rounds.

Almond said last weekend’s 96-point loss to Mitta United was unacceptable.

“We need to bounce back,” Almond said.

“While we had players out, we weren’t happy with the way we played.

“It was a bad day.”

While Thurgoona has injury clouds hanging over Matt Fowler and Todd Miller, the Bombers will miss Darren Bradshaw again but should regain Andrew and Matt Hill and Jason Gentile.

Bulldog Mark Bush is also a chance of returning after missing last week.

Both teams will wear alternative strips, which will be auctioned off at the North Albury Sports Club at 6pm.

A percentage of the day’s takings will be donated to the Royal Children’s Hospital Good Friday Appeal.

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