RESTORE the pride.
That’s the message Hume league coach Josh Walker is drumming into his players ahead of its interleague clash against Picola North-West on Saturday.
Hume last year suffered one of its darkest representative days in history when a second-rate outfit received a humiliating 97-point slaughtering at the hands of the Tallangatta and District league.
Walker said Saturday’s clash was the first step towards redemption.
“I spoke to the players at training on Tuesday night and just pointed out that you should have pride in not only your club but also your league,” Walker said.
“When you talk to people outside the league, they ask who you play for.
“I tell them Jindera in the Hume league and basically they refer back to any representative games.
“People then think to themselves Hume got smashed by Tallangatta last year so they must not be a very strong league.
“I think that is the biggest thing about this week — to send a message that Hume is one of the strongest leagues in the district.”
The initial squad of 50 has been reduced to 27, with the final team of 22 plus two emergencies to be named after training at Jindera tonight.
High-profile Jindera recruit Matt McDonald is the biggest casualty with a groin complaint, while in-form goalsneak Josh Warren-Marmo is under an injury cloud with an ankle complaint.
But Holbrook ball magnet Brett Doswell and Des Kennedy medallist Rory Muggivan are certain starters.
Walker is confident the team at his disposal would give a good account of itself.
“Some of the league’s biggest names are missing but I think there is still a good mix of experienced players and young talent,” he said.
“If you go through the squad, most of the players included are in form and have been in their club’s best just about every week.
“So we are not picking the side on reputations but on players who have been in form in the opening rounds.”
Walker admitted to having limited knowledge about the opposition.
“It’s really hard to get a gauge on the opposition because of the distance between the two leagues,” he said.
“Tocumwal is a big ground and we are aiming to have a quick, running side.
“It’s a fairly versatile side and we will go head-to-head with them in the first quarter and make changes from there.”