OVENS and Murray captain Craig Ednie says the league is keen to make a statement in this afternoon’s crunch clash with the Hampden league.
The O and M has the eyes of AFL Victoria Country firmly on it as pressure builds on the league to restore its proud reputation.
The league has fallen to fifth in the rankings and is desperate to make amends at Norm Minns Oval today.
Ednie, who is the captain for the second year running, said the team was more than aware it was expected to win.
“We’re on a bit of a hiding to nothing because everyone expects us to (beat Hampden),” Ednie said.
“But we know we’ll be playing a good team.
“You can’t take any team lightly at this level of footy.
“We think we’ve put together a pretty formidable team and it makes a big difference when you get a lot of blokes committing.
“That part has been great.”
Yarrawonga champion Ednie said he was honoured to retain the captaincy.
Albury co-coach Daniel Maher is his deputy in the team coached by former AFL star Brendan Fevola.
“It’s an absolute honour,” Ednie said.
“Especially to get the nod when you’ve got such a quality group of players.”
Twelve of the 22 players selected to wear the gold and black this afternoon will be representing the league for the first time.
It’s the second time in the space of three years that the Ovens and Murray has come up against the Warrnambool-based Hampden league.
The O and M ran out convincing 48-point winners at Carlton’s Visy Park in 2012.
Today’s clash starts at 2.45pm.
All profits made on the day will be donated to the James McQuillan Future Fund.
The Albury youngster suffered serious spinal damage playing against Yarrawonga in the first game of the season.
He remains in hospital.