CHFL: Raak puts Burras on notice

HEPBURN coach Clive Raak might have liked to wield the axe following the circumstances that surrounded his team’s loss to Buninyong in last weekend’s Central Highlands Football League grand final rematch.

BACK IN: Bungaree defender Tom Wilson (right) is back in the side after missing the win over Dunnstown at the weekend.
PICTURE: ADAM TRAFFOIRD

BACK IN: Bungaree defender Tom Wilson (right) is back in the side after missing the win over Dunnstown at the weekend. PICTURE: ADAM TRAFFOIRD

But Raak and his selection panel can’t afford to make too many radical decisions with another vitally important encounter around the corner.

The Burras were 37 points clear of the Bombers in the final term last Saturday, but conceded seven-straight goals to lose by five points. That result saw them slip to fifth on the ladder, leaving a battle to force their way back inside the top four with two games to go before finals.

Raak said it was hard to make too many changes, believing the team Hepburn fielded against Buninyong matched up pretty well with this Saturday’s opponents, ladder leader Bungaree.

But Raak said his playing group was on notice that there were about five players who could fill spots of those under-performing in the senior team.

“You can’t just be comfortable week in, week out. We’ve got blokes in the reserves and kids in the under-17.5s that are good enough to play senior footy and take some people’s spots,” he said.

Key position player Tom Conroy looks unlikely to play for the rest of the season as a result of a heavy knock sustained in last weekend’s match and is the big out for the Burras in this clash.

The Demons, meanwhile, have named defenders Mitch Bruns, Tom Wilson and Jordan Payne to return among three changes to the outfit that easily accounted

for Dunnstown last Saturday.

Bungaree remains at the top of ladder with just one defeat and will be looking for revenge on the Burras, which won the team’s preliminary final en route to the premiership last year.

PREDICTION: Bungaree to get the job done.

tim.oconnor@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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