FIRST-year coach Marc Greig will use a practice match against Footscray on Saturday as a full dress rehearsal for the VFL season.
The Roosters will line up stronger than their loss to Port Melbourne under modified conditions a week ago.
Last year’s best and fairest and VFL team of the year member Luke Kiel and James Keeble have been selected in a squad of 25 to run out at Whitten Oval.
North Ballarat Rebels graduates Tom Schnerring and Matt Johnston will also be given a chance along with Mitch Rodd.
New captain Matt Austin had hoped to make his first pre-season appearance after knee surgery, but has not been named.
Tony Lockyer (corked thigh) and Joel Cowan (shoulder soreness) are being rested.
Greig said the focus remained on learning given the big number of first-year youngsters.
He said there were some good signs against Port Melbourne, with a marked improvement in clearances.
"We got smashed there last year. We won the clearances (against Port Melbourne)."
Greig said patience would be needed with the development of the younger players, who would naturally take time to adjust after moving up from the TAC Cup under-18s.
Josh Webster, Ben Simpson, Tom Templeton, Joe Symons, Tom Taurau and Angus Cleary join Schnerring and Johnston with former Bendigo Pioneer Bailey Edwards in this bracket.
Greig said the likes of Andrew Boseley and Rowan Marshall looked set for strong years after impressive pre-seasons.
Marshall played just the six VFL games last year - his first season up from the Rebels - but had been highly impressive with the Sebastopol in the Ballarat Football League, also playing in the country championships.
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