Tough test the perfect opening for Kiewa

Mitta’s Nathan Reynoldson will be looking for another strong season for the Blues.

Mitta’s Nathan Reynoldson will be looking for another strong season for the Blues.

KIEWA-Sandy Creek coach Ryan Richardson isn’t complaining about the Hawks’ tough first-up assignment against Mitta United at Kiewa on Saturday.

In fact, he’s embracing it.

Although both sides are expected to be missing key players due to weddings and injury, Richardson said his team would know exactly where it stood by 5pm.

“It’s the way you would want it,” Richardson said.

“They will probably be the benchmark again and it will be good to test ourselves.

“We had a couple of comfortable wins over the pre-season and this will show us how we are going.

“Mitta are strong and classy and have added players like Danny Stewart and Tyson Gorupic and we know it’s going to be a tough one.”

Kiewa-Sandy Creek defeated Howlong and CDHBU in practice matches and look to have assembled one of the premier midfields in the league with Dane Hallinan and Callum Turner returning to complement the Bartels.

Richardson said he was pleased with the way his side had come together.

“I think we have a fantastic list, but so do a few other sides,” he said.

“It’s the best pre-season I have had in my time as coach as we took a bit of a different approach.”

While many suspected Mitta United targeted several midfielders after being run off its legs in last year’s grand final, coach Clinton Gilson said the arrival of Tyson Gorupic, Danny Stewart and Danny Hales had been more coincidental.

“It was just how things worked out,” Gilson said.

“They returned to the area and Tyson wanted a change.

“The boys have been training well and I think everyone just wants to get into it.

“Kiewa’s always a hard side to beat and look to have picked up some good players.”

Kiewa-Sandy Creek has covered one of its deficiencies from last season by picking up ruckman Luke Norton-Smith and the Hawks will be hoping Richardson can stay fit after his 2013 season was decimated by injury.