THE Murray Bushrangers’ wealth of talent has been underlined by the TAC Cup club naming 12 bottom-age players for this weekend’s Futures Round.
In a first for the competition, clubs are required to play a minimum of 11 bottom-age players to help ease the pressure during the national under-18 championships.
Patrick Warner (Benalla) and Ed Adams (Shepparton United) will make their debuts against Dandenong at Shepley Oval on Saturday.
Other bottom-age players include Ely Smith, Isaac McMillan and Bailey Frauendfelder (Yarrawonga), Kyle Clarke and Zane Barzen (Shepparton United), Ajak Dang (Mooroopna), Noah Amery (Lavington), Matt Walker (CDHBU), Hudson Garoni (Wodonga) and Mark Marriott (Benalla Saints).
Higgins described the round as a great initiative.
“I’m not sure how other regions are travelling but we are really happy with our bottom-age group,” Higgins said.
“It’s an opportunity to expose more players to the TAC Cup a bit earlier.
“I think it’s great we were able to come up with 12 this weekend.”
The Bushrangers have lost Isaac Wallace and Nick Richards to Williamstown’s development side while Ben Paton and Jordan Butts will rest to prepare for Victoria Country’s next match.
Ben Kelly (knee) and Harry Jones (back) will miss.
Dandenong has climbed to fifth spot after some recent strong form.
“They have been in good form recently,” Higgins said.
“They beat Bendigo a few weeks ago and are always really hard to play against at Shepley Oval.
“It’s quite a small ground and they play well there.”
The Murray Bushrangers team is:
B, Clarke, Paech, Dang
HB: Langlands, Koschitzke, Donaghey
C: Barzen, Amery, Frauenfelder
HF: Adams, Boyd, Walker
F: Lane, Garoni, Wilson
Foll: Johnston, Oakes, Hicks
Inter: Marriott, Bond, Bruce, Smith, Warner, McMillan
Emerg: Murray, Oates, Trotter