ANDREW Hooper will miss North Ballarat Roosters’ opening assignment of the VFL season after a training mishap.
The experienced Hooper was set to play against Coburg on Saturday after recovering from shoulder surgery and then calf soreness.
However, that changed when he turned ankle in a gutter next to the perimeter fence at the Eastern Oval on Monday night.
Roosters coach Marc Greig said it was unbelievable bad luck after putting the calf problem behind him.
He said Hooper could miss up to two weeks.
The Roosters have as expected named a youthful team to travel to Coburg.
Eight players are new to the Roosters’ list this season – Josh Webster, Joel Cowan, Matt Johnston, Joel Cowan, Ben Simpson, Tom Templeton (all North Ballarat Rebels), Louis Herbert (Gold Coast Suns) and Bailey Edwards (Bendigo Pioneers).
While Webster, Johnston, Templeton and Herbert have all played with the Selkirk Roosters as 23rd players while Rebels, this will be their debuts a fully-fledged VFL players. The only previous VFL experience of Sam Hooper, who is in his second year on the North Ballarat list, and Lachlan Cassidy, who was first on the list in 2013, is also as 23rd man.
As well as Andrew Hooper, the Roosters are missing number one ruckman Orren Stephenson, who is out with hamstring trouble.
Captain Matt Austin (back) came through training on Wednesday night to confirm his availability.
Greig said the newcomers had shown improvement with each practice match as they adjusted to the higher level.
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