Culcairn sweating on clearance of former Albury star

CHANGE OF SCENERY: After playing for Albury in 2017 and spending some time in America, Dylan McDonald hopes to be cleared to Culcairn.
CHANGE OF SCENERY: After playing for Albury in 2017 and spending some time in America, Dylan McDonald hopes to be cleared to Culcairn.

It’s no certainty, but Culcairn is hoping former Albury jet Dylan McDonald will be cleared by his old club in time for this weekend’s match against CDHBU.

McDonald has been overseas pursuing a gridiron career, but is back on home soil for the time being and his hoping to lace them up for the Lions.

Culcairn coach Josh Hillary said while he’s still unsure whether McDonald will be eligible in time to play against the Power on Saturday, the former Tiger would nonetheless be a valuable addition.

“He’s got a few mates out here, he’s been training for a few weeks and did the running once as well, so he’s keen to have a kick,” Hillary said.

“We’re not sure whether he’ll be here for the rest of the season, we know Dylan has some aspirations back in the states as well.

“He has obvious ability though – it would be great to get him out there, but that depends on whether he’s cleared from Albury or not.” 

The Lions went into the bye having split their opening eight games, good for sixth on the ladder.

Ahead of Rand-Walbundrie-Walla and Howlong, but within striking distance of fourth and fifth-placed Jindera and Holbrook, a win coming out of the bye would be the perfect way to start the second half of the season for Culcairn.

The Power will be no pushovers though, having taken a couple of the league’s top teams to the edge in recent weeks.

Knowing CDHBU will be out to get some reward for effort, Hillary said Culcairn would have to be switched on from the outset.

“CDHBU have been unlucky the last few weeks, they’ve been up to their necks in games but haven’t quite gotten over the line,” he said.

“We’ve identified it as a danger game emerging from the bye.

“Our inconsistency has put us in a position where we can’t afford to drop games, and they’ll certainly be looking to turn the tables on their recent results.” 

After narrowly escaping with a seven-point win over Howlong a fortnight ago, Hilary said the Lions couldn’t afford to let a lead slip.

“They (CDHBU) have a lot of quality players, so we can be complacent like we were in the last quarter against Howlong,” he said.

“We took the foot off the pedal and it nearly got away from us.

“It’s just a mindset thing.” 

Elsewhere in the Hume League, Brock-Burrum host Holbrook, the Murray Magpies visit Henty, Jindera face the Billabong Crows, Osborne square off against Lockhart and Rand-Walla-Walbundrie face Howlong.