SAM Bennett and James Richards face fitness tests ahead of the North Ballarat Rebels’ clash with Northern Knights in the TAC Cup under-18 football competition in Ballarat on Saturday.
Bennett and Richards have been sidelined with injury, and will be a major boost if available.
Rebels talent manager Phil Partington said Bennett and Richards were quality, experienced players and would be welcome returns after two weeks out.
“They will need to provide they are 100 per cent fit before being confirmed for the final squad,” he said.
North Ballarat has also added Will Austin and Ben Lakin to an expanded interchange, pending the fitness tests.
The Rebels will go in to their first home game at Eureka Stadium for the year a much more confident unit after a three-point win over the previously unbeaten Oakleigh Chargers.
After four losses in a row, the breakthrough came from nowhere, given the form the Chargers had been displaying.
It is now up to the likes of Tom Schnerring, Ben Simpson, Rowan Marshall, Oscar McDonald and Daniel Butler to maintain their own steady form and string together a few more victories.
Coach David Loader is certain to emphasise the importance of another four-quarter effort.
The Rebels learnt what a difference it makes – especially in testing wet and windy conditions.
Getting over Northern Knights is well within North Ballarat’s reach. The Knights have only won twice and are coming off a 35-point loss to Geelong Falcons.
Other TAC Cup Games: Geelong v Calder, Sandringham v Oakleigh, Murray v NSW/ACT, Bendigo v Western, Eastern v Dandenong, Gippsland v Queensland.
THE Rebels will take part in a driving education activity on Saturday as part of the partnership with the Transport Accident Commission.
Phil Partington said all players on L or P plates were being encouraged to drive to the game to get more hours behind the wheel.
He said the Rebels ran a strong road safety education program for players, already this season putting them through a traffic session with Leading Team director Ray McLean about making correct decisions while driving.