Crafty Lavington forward Adam Flagg says he’s back to his best 2014 form after a thumb injury ruined last year.
Flagg, who played in Greater Western Sydney’s first AFL pre-season match in February, 2011, along with Richmond premiership player Jacob Townsend, joined the Panthers in 2013 and then starred the following season.
“I’m probably just back playing my best footy now,” he said.
“At the start of the year after missing most of last year, I was a bit rusty.
“I didn’t have the run in my legs, I think I’ve finally got a bit of match fitness back.
“I’m probably back to playing that footy (2014) now, but I played that footy all year.”
The 24-year-old has kicked 11 goals in the past three games, including hauls of five against Corowa-Rutherglen and Wodonga Raiders, featuring in the best.
It’s refreshing to see Flagg back to his best after he managed just six games last year.
“The thumb was absolutely stuffed, I couldn’t train properly or mark the ball,” he said.
“I couldn’t play with it.”
Flagg complements the Panthers’ power forwards, like Adam Prior and Brant Dickson.
Another strong forward in Andrew Dess also played his best game last week against North Albury, so the Panthers’ well-credentialled forward structure is starting to look dangerous.
At 195cms, Dess is a damaging player with a long kick, so he’ll look to build on that form in Saturday’s home game against Wangaratta Rovers.
Like all top clubs in round 16 facing teams outside the five, the Panthers will be out to build confidence, ahead of the elimination final on September 2.
“It seems to happen a little bit when we get on top of a side, we don’t put the sword to them, which Albury does,” Flagg said.
“But playing the way we want to is the main thing, the scoreboard will look after itself.”
Lavington ruckman Tim Hanna has been ruled out with soreness, allowing teenager Noah Amery’s return.
It will be just the second time Amery and his younger brother Elijah have played seniors together after the latter debuted against Wodonga in round 11.
Elijah, 16, has now played five straight games and looks like holding his spot into finals.
Noah has played most of the season with the Murray Bushrangers at under 18 level.
The Hawks made six changes, with a host of their talented table-topping thirds’ outfit selected.
Riley Calvene and Ed Dayman are among those looking to fine-tune their play.
- Receive our daily newsletter straight to your inbox each morning from The Border Mail. Sign up here