North Ballarat Roosters continue to expose youth at Victorian Football League level due to a mounting injury list.
Keenan Waterbury, Tim Speirs and Coby Perry come into the side as Matthew Johnston misses with a quad injury – he is awaiting results from a scan on Wednesday night. Tony Lockyer will miss with a strained medial ligament while Jake McQueen has been omitted.
Andrew Hooper is expected to return next week while Louis Herbert is also nearing full fitness. Tom Schnerring is back at training after missing a significant period with syndesmosis, a serious high ankle ligament injury, the club will not be taking any risks with his return.
Coach Marc Greig said while it was not ideal to have such a lengthy injury list, young players brought a sense of excitement to the game.
Inconsistency is also part of most young players’ repetiteur, but Greig was hopeful the trio would add something.
“The excitement that they can bring individually, because you’ve lost some experienced players...you know what you’re going to miss, but we’re not sure what you’re going to get,” Greig said.
“It’s a good opportunity for each of them.”
It will be another young side that takes on Box Hill Hawks, something that is becoming the usual for the Roosters. Greig said in a “perfect world” such youthful players would not all play at once, but given the circumstances it had to be viewed as a positive – and that was the extra exposure and responsibility at VFL level.
“Usually you might get one or two TAC Cup kids that come in and play. Last year we played 19 first-year players and 15 of those were TAC Cup boys.
“This year we’ve still had to play them...they might only get their five or six games and not the 10-12 that guys were getting last year. But in a perfect world you wouldn’t bring TAC Cup players in straight away, but that’s where we’re at.”
Former Rooster and St Kilda rookie Rowan Marshall has been upgraded to the Sanits’ senior list.