Hicks to play in Cairns

WODONGA has lost 2011 best and fairest winner Josh Hicks.

Hicks, who hadn’t played a game this season, finally parted ways with the Bulldogs this week and will play for Port Douglas in Cairns.

Hicks, 21, moved to Darwin at the end of last season for lifestyle reasons. He will fly to Cairns each week to play.

The Bulldogs, meanwhile, will be without reigning club champion Tyson Gorupic against Lavington today and possibly the following couple of weeks because of a nagging hip complaint.

And Sam Wortmann will miss the rest of the season after breaking his lower leg against Yarrawonga last Saturday.

Wodonga stunned the Panthers last season and coach Ben Hollands said winning clearances was the key to making that happen again today.

“You’ve got to win the footy in the middle,” he said.

“If you win the clearances you obviously keep it out of their forward end and it doesn’t give them the chance to set up their press and keep the footy in there.”

Promising youngster Kayne Turner will play seniors today. Brydan Hodgson will make his debut for the Panthers.