Albury names tall timber to take on Wodonga Raiders' pacy outfit

Albury's Dean Heta has been named to return from a back complaint against Wodonga Raiders. It will pit the undefeated Tigers against Raiders, who've lost only to Albury.
Albury's Dean Heta has been named to return from a back complaint against Wodonga Raiders. It will pit the undefeated Tigers against Raiders, who've lost only to Albury.

Albury has named its two defensive ‘troubleshooters’ ahead of Saturday’s much-anticipated top of the table clash away to Wodonga Raiders.

Dean Heta has been selected after battling a back complaint, while six-time premiership player Michael Thompson has recovered after he had stitches inserted following a hunting mishap.

Raiders will be monitoring Heta’s progress though as he was named, but failed to take his place, for last week’s thumping win over Lavington.

The second-placed Raiders haven’t made a change from the team which seriously damaged Yarrawonga’s top three hopes following a 47-point win.

Veteran Mark Doolan and the classy Tom McCaffrey have been named emergencies.

It will be interesting to see if the hard-bodied Doolan plays given the forecast for more rain Friday and Saturday.

Meanwhile, Lavington has made four changes for its home game against Wangaratta.

Former coach James Saker has started his pre-planned overseas trip, while Luke Garland has a calf complaint.

John Hunt is back after he missed the Albury game with work commitments overseas.

The Panthers have lost their last two games and given they’ve been one of the league’s most consistent sides over the past decade, it would be extremely rare to rack up a hat-trick of defeats.

The Pies have made just the one change with Werribee VFL big man Jade Cleeland replacing former SANFL star Craig Evans, who’s unavailable.

North Albury’s hopes of upsetting Yarrawonga have hit a major hurdle with the Pigeons recalling ruckman Lach Howe.

A Collingwood VFL player, Howe starred over the first month of the O and M, prior to winning a call-up to the higher level.

The Hoppers have recalled ex-Carlton defender Clem Smith, who was dropped after the Raiders game for arriving late to a training session.

Corowa-Rutherglen could well create a first in its away game against Myrtleford.

Teenage twins James and Matthew Tanner will make their debuts and it would be extremely rare if that’s happened at this level.

The Roos are still missing at least a third of their top team, including profile recruit Shaun Huy, who’s still not back from a knee arthroscope, but the Saints are without last week’s five-goal best on ground Lachie Dale (ankle) and Elijah Wales (VFL).

And Wangaratta Rovers will debut exciting youngster Riley Calvene in the home clash against Wodonga.

Calvene is part of the young Hawks, who are leading the under 18 competition.

It’s one of five changes, including key position defender Coen Hennessy.

Wodonga has suffered injuries to two of its best in recent weeks in rising ruckman Harry Pole and the pacy Trent Williamson.

Harry Eckert will debut.