DAN Millynn admits it will be hard watching the Wodonga derby from the sidelines, but he has no choice.
The Diamonds central defender and vice-captain rolled a “dodgy” ankle in training during the pre-season and now surgery has left him in a moonboot and out of the game for at least 10 weeks.
Millynn’s only consolation was Twin City’s star striker Zac Walker was rated only a 50-50 chance of overcoming injury to play tonight.
“You always want to test yourself against the best and Walker is up there,” he said.
“Last year my best games were against Myrtleford and Dan Summers — when you play against someone who has played at a higher level you have to lift.”
Millynn said Twin City was the clear title favourite but he expected a young Diamonds team to rise to the occasion.
“Twin City are obviously the team to beat — they have put away everyone they’ve played,” he said.
“But Twin City and Diamonds games, no matter who is playing, there is great atmosphere, great intensity.
“Paul Brunec has missed most of the pre-season but he should be back and there are a couple of young guys have been really good this year, Jason Colomberas has been playing great for us in the middle.
“It is going to be a young side that has to lift for the game.”
Twin City coach David Afonso downplayed the underdog tag for Diamonds.
“Diamonds are tough to beat at any stage — last year they cleaned up all the silverware and their reserves are undefeated this year,” he said
“There is no doubt they have injuries but they have depth.
“When these two teams play, no matter where they are on the ladder, it is pretty competitive.”
Afonso said the Wanderers accepted the favourites tag but complacency was not an issue.
“It is great turning up to training and finding so much talent on the park,” he said.
“But there’s a group of leaders at the club, particularly the English blokes, who have played at a higher standard and keep you grounded.
“We are confident ahead of each game but you have to be wary — there are always upsets and there will be days where we don’t play well and drop points.
“We just hope that’s not tomorrow night.”
The game starts 8pm tonight at La Trobe University.