Blues surprise a few, but Demon coach not among them

EMERGING force Cudgewa will be out to enhance its mantle as the big improver of the Upper Murray league when it travels to take on flag favourite Corryong on Saturday.

After missing the finals last year, many pundits expected the Blues to improve after the arrival of coach Bill Deery, Michael Voigt, Brendan McEvoy, Marty Thompson, Dane Arthur and Greg Wheeler.

But not many predicted the Blues to start the season undefeated and sit on top of the ladder after already playing last season’s grand finalists Tumbarumba and Bullioh.

Corryong coach Andrew Reid said he was not surprised by the Blues’ stellar start to the season.

“A few people are saying Cudgewa are the surprise packets of the season but I was under no illusion at the start of the year that they were the team to beat,” Reid said.

Despite missing Alex Star, Leigh McColl, Allan Cleven, Matt Jarvis, Wheeler and Thompson last weekend the Blues still proved too strong for Bullioh to record its most significant win of the season.

Cudgewa coach Deery has warned his team would be nowhere near full-strength until the second-half of the season.

Reid said the Demons wouldn’t be lulled into a false sense of security ahead of the top-of-the-table clash.

“Which side is at full-strength every week?,” he said.

“None. We have had four or five players out every week as well.

“We played ordinary against Federal a fortnight ago and got rolled by a side who played the best that I have seen them play.

“When you rock up expecting to win and starting resting blokes it can all backfire very quickly.

“A lot of people have us labelled as the raging flag favourites but we are nowhere near as dominant as most people think we are.”

Reid (ribs) and Brad Graeber (wrist) are once again expected to miss for the Demons this week.

But in a major boost, versatile big man James Paton, Troy Cooper and David Hansen will come into the Corryong line-up for the clash.

Cudgewa's Bill Deery and Michael Voigt.

Cudgewa's Bill Deery and Michael Voigt.