Herzina to lead new-look champs

Jarrod Herzina
Jarrod Herzina

JARROD Herzina will lead a new look Diamonds into the AWFA season.

The star forward will replaced Dan Millynn as captain when the defending champions face Myrtleford in the Ovens Valley in a replay of the contentious Cup final in just under three weeks.

But the League and Cup winners will look markedly different to the starting 11 from last season.

Gone are frontman Nagus Henry and playmakers Jedd Gvozdenovic and Brenden Hasler.

Midfield hardman Brett Delphin has retired, while knee injuries will keep Ben Whitehead and Tom Morrison on the sidelines for a large part of the winter.

Diamonds have recruit- ed former Albury City rising star Darcy Pawlik and Boomer Hudson Magerstein, who is also recovering from a knee injury.

Coach Jimmy Bell expects Herzina to become a better player with the captain’s armband.

“He has the potential to be a great leader and already takes on that role on the field,” he said.

“It also frees up Dan Millynn (last year’s captain) — takes the pressure off him and lets him enjoy his soccer again.

“Jarrod can draw on the experience of Dan and Steve Currie while they are still playing.”

Bell said the loss of Henry to Cobram Victory in the Shepparton league was a bitter blow.

“We will have to change the way we play, Nagus was a key to our attack — a big man with speed and skill,” he said.

“But in the pre-season the signs are positive.

“We lost 5-3 to Shepparton South in a trial at La Trobe on Wednesday.

“It’s disappointing to give up three goals from mistakes but it gave us a good idea of where we need to improve.

“We are a much younger side than last year and will draw on our depth.”

Bell is playing down the Cup final rematch which saw a contentious red card leave Myrtleford with 10 men.

“We will no doubt have to deal with some advice from the sidelines but what’s happened is in the past and we have all moved on,” he said.

Diamonds lost 2-0 to Cobram Tigers in their second trial on Sunday.