REDAN last night named an unchanged line up for tomorrow’s Ballarat Football League grand final.
But Sunbury has made two changes in a bid to snare an elusive premiership at Eastern Oval.
The eastern Lions added some extra forward firepower, naming leading goalkicker Dale Ciunik and Xavier Linton in its final 22.
That’s bad news for Anthony Sammut and Tim Hill, who will miss the biggest match of the year.
“It is the hardest thing to do in football to tell those guys. The hardest thing in my coaching career,” Sunbury coach Rick Horwood said last night.
“It’s a tribute to the character of Tim and Anthony. After we announced the team both stayed in the room with the 22 players when we went through our final meeting.”
Horwood said both deserved to be in the side but the eastern Lions had 26 players under consideration for the 22 positions. He said Ciunik and Linton would have always been in Sunbury’s best side.
“Ciunik was always going in. To be honest I didn’t think Xavier Linton would get up. He has missed three games with injury but we think he is a very dangerous forward and that warranted his selection.”
Hill is still eligible to play under-18.5 football but the eastern Lions are not in the thirds grand final. Sammut is particularly unlucky having not missed a game all year, apart from a suspension.
The Redan players who have been named as emergencies, Adrian Meyer, Chris Edwards and Jesse Dundon will at least play in the reserves grand final if they do not receive a late call-up, the L&H Lions to play Darley in the curtain-raiser.
“The guys last week did really well and we’re quite confident with that group,” Redan co-coach Eammon Gill said last night.
“The two or three who missed out are extremely stiff but they’re fully focussed on playing in a reserves grand final.”