THERE have been comparatively few times in recent years that Sebastopol has been centre stage.
And, while no one denies it will be tough, the Kookaburras are determined to make the most of Sunday’s VCFL game of the month with a solid showing against in-form Ballarat.
The Globe Hotel Kookaburras have brought in two of their more experienced midfielders — Brent van Gils and Shaun Henry — to boost their midfield muscle against a team that steamrolled Red Onion Ballarat Football League premiership fancy North Ballarat City last weekend.
“Any side that beats North City is a good side,” Sebastopol coach Shawne Dummett says. “It’s not going to be easy.
“They tackle very hard and put a lot of defensive pressure on North City, so defensive pressure is something we have to work on as well.
“Brent van Gils and Shaun Henry are good strong inballers, so getting them back in the side will help because it gives us some extra players through the midfield. As one of our leaders in the midfield, Sam Jenkins has had an enormous workload and it will be good to give him some support.”
van Gils returns from a shoulder injury he sustained against North Ballarat City in round one.
Shaun Henry, meanwhile, returns for his first game in the firsts following a suspension carried over from last season. He has played in the reserves to date this year.
On the debit side of the equation, Kyle Eyers is out with a sore achilles.
Sebastopol has been actively promoting the WorkSafe VCFL game of the month, which will be attended by Essendon great Terry Daniher
Dummett says the last thing he wants his inexperienced team to do in what is a showcase game for the club is play negative, reactive football insisting the players will get a lot more out of playing an attacking game even if that risks a higher score against.
“We want to be positive and take the game on,” Dummett says.
“We’d never look at putting extra players behind the ball.
“There has been positive signs around the club and the players are pretty upbeat. There have been good patches against Sunbury, Redan and North City.
“We need to put it together over a longer period during a match.”
Ballarat, meanwhile, will look to challenge for a top three position on the ladder.
Ben Hobbs is out for a month or more with an ankle injury, while Mitch Rodd will be rested with hamstring tightness.
Josh Benfield will play his first senior match for the Simonds Swans, while Zane Ross has been promoted from the reserves.
PREDICTION: Ballarat by 39 points