CENTRAL Highlands Football League’s interleague preparations have been dealt a further blow with Waubra star John Coleman almost certainly out of calculations.
Coleman sustained a serious hamstring injury during his team’s win over Carngham-Linton on Saturday.
The 26-year-old, who was the Roos’ best and fairest last season, told The Courier he felt it was a “good tear” that was likely to keep him sidelined beyond the Highlanders’ interleague clash with Ellinbank and District FL on May 26.
Coleman will then leave the region through his role in the police force, which will see him stationed in Mildura for the next 18 months.
His future with Waubra, where he was won two senior premierships, remains unclear.
“At this stage I’m not sure what I’m going to be doing playing wise. I’m not sure whether I’ll try and get back to play or whether I’ll play up there or not,” Coleman said.
“I’m just assessing my options at the moment. I’d like to keep playing for Waubra, but I’ll just see. It hasn’t been ruled out completely.”
Coleman’s injury adds to a growing list of star players already out of interleague contention, including Hepburn trio Dan O’Halloran (knee), Andy McKay (unavailable) and Lee Cox (unavailable), Beaufort recruit Nigel Otto (Achillies) and Waubra onballer Shaun Mullane (knee).
It also appears star Daylesford midfield/forward Michael Cummings will not play after failing to attend the squad’s first training session on Sunday.
Interleague coach Shane Skontra said he was not concerned by the amount of key players no longer at his disposal.
“We’ve still got a lot of quality through the list and that’s been a really great advantage with the amount of quality players in the league. We’ve been able to cover injuries,” he said. “As a club coach if you had major injuries like that the depth would be tested, but given the size of the league and quality in it, we’re going to be able to field a very good footy side.”
Skontra was also baffled to see Ballan signing Mark Williams play for the Blues on Saturday, after he had been told by the club that his finger injury was likely to keep him sidelined for at least a few weeks.
Skontra said he would be in contact with Williams in the hope of adding him to the squad.
“I’ll follow up his situation and if he’s keen, fit and able we will pose the question and see if he is interested in playing,” Skontra said.