Myrtleford’s chances of repeating last year’s league and cup double heroics will be put to the test in the last seven games.
After a near injury-free 2017 campaign, the Savoys have been hit hard since the mid-year break and will have their depth seriously tested.
Co-coaches Jayden Vescio (meniscus) and Matt Park (hamstring) headline the absences.
Centre back Raul Pahina got through half an hour in Sunday’s 3-2 loss to Boomers battling illness, Will Keenan is overseas and will miss another week, while experienced midfielder Nathan Mirt has struggled all year with a knee complaint, but is expected to be in the mix in another two to three weeks.
Mid-season recruits Troy Pawlik and Connor Caponecchia couldn’t manage 90 minutes before being struck down with knee injuries in their first appearances of the season for the club.
And to make matters worse, Tom La Spina rolled his ankle last week and is no certainty to line up against league leaders Melrose at Savoy Park on Saturday night.
While the mounting injury toll is far from ideal, Vescio is confident the side can hang in.
“We’re a bit battered,” Vescio admitted.
“I’m not sure who we’ll be able to get back for this weekend in all honesty.
“I’m looking at four to six (weeks) for the back end before finals, Parksy hasn’t played and is probably two or three away to to honest.
“He’s (Mirt) had a massive training block and he’s coming back from a bit of a knee injury.
“We haven’t taken any risks with him because he’s the sort of player you want going into a finals series, which we’ve seen the last couple of years.”
On a positive note, English import Tom Youngs got through 70 minutes in his first game back since breaking his arm against Wangaratta in an intense derby clash at Myrtleford back in round nine.
“The benefit is, the young kids are here to stay and looking forward that’s the really pleasing thing,” Vescio added.
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