COACH Gerard FitzGerald will again be looking to better ball movement and more productive ball use in attack as the impetus for a North Ballarat Rebels victory in the TAC Cup under-18 football competition on Sunday.
FitzGerald said the Rebels had been rewarded for a lift in these areas with a win over Calder Cannons – their first success of the season - in the latest round.
He said the outcome had also reinforced belief in the players of the processes they had been working on in the pre-season and early weeks of the home and away season.
FitzGerald said he had been pleased with the Rebels’ defensive work from the outset.
However, they had not been getting enough first or clean use in the forward 50m and this had hurt them on the scoreboard.
The Rebels have regained three of their stronger-bodied and more experienced players for Sunday’s encounter with Bendigo Pioneers at Eureka Stadium.
All-Australian Jarrod Berry and Hugh McCluggage return after being rested on the back of AFL Academy commitments, while Jacob Wheelahan has been declared fit after suffering concussion.
Rebels talent manager Phil Partington said players were always monitored carefully after suffering concussion, with no chances taken. Wheelahan has had three weeks off.
He said Berry was also over a minor leg issue.
This will be the Rebels’ first game on the redeveloped Eureka Stadium.
They trained on the new surface for the first time on Thursday night.
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