Roos host Dogs in blockbuster clash

April 06, 2018

The Deni Rovers will unveil recruits (from left) Dylan Kerr, Ricki Waters and Nathan Kerr in tomorrow's clash.

Two Picola District Football League powerhouses will square off in a round one blockbuster at Memorial Park tomorrow.

Strathmerton, with five consecutive grand final appearances, will travel to tackle the Deni Rovers.

The Roos have stocked up talent heading into the new campaign, and coach Josh Bode said as a result his side was excited to get into the action.

‘‘It’s been a huge pre-season, we’ve recruited pretty well and numbers have been great, so we’re looking forward to getting out on the track,’’ Bode said.

The Roos have bolstered their list with Aaron Purcell, Des Morgan, Nathan and Dylan Kerr, Alex Hay, Ricki Waters and James Gilligan, all joining the senior list.

But they will unfortunately have to wait to get their first look at Purcell in their colours.

‘‘We’ll be missing Aaron (Purcell) and Brendan Hope due to a wedding this weekend and Peter Lewis is still recovering from a minor hamstring injury,’’ Bode said.

‘‘But I’m really excited to see the Kerr boys as they’ve been exceptional in pre-season.

‘‘James Gilligan was a clear best on ground in our practice match against Hay, so we’ll put him in the middle again as a bigger bodied midfielder.

‘‘We’ll have about six or seven blokes rotating through the middle on Saturday (tomorrow), with Dylan May, Alex Hay, Ryan Murray and plenty of others all capable of giving a chop out in the guts.

‘‘Regan Leetham will also make his debut for us. He comes from the Rams after having three years away from footy.

‘‘He’s a tough in and under player so we’re excited to see him on the park.’’

Bode said the unified 13-team league would bring new challenges to his club — something the Roos were ready to embrace.

‘‘Back in the day we’d play against your Waaias and Katungas,’’ he said.

‘‘It’s like the Picola League is getting back to its grassroots and it’s another challenge for us to overcome.

‘‘Strathy have normally been slow starters to seasons and really peaked late.

‘‘They’ve been in the last five grand finals so they’ve obviously got quality and present a challenge.’’

The Bulldogs have recruited well with power forward Tom Campbell the main attraction.

The Dogs have also secured Zach Betson and the retention of top talent like last year’s best and fairest Matt Shannon will see them as a force once again this year.

With Purcell and Hope out, assistant coach Brody Lumber and veteran forward Terry Lumbar will line-up in key position forward roles, while James Kirby and Matt Horne will play crucial roles in defence.

Selection: Deni Rovers by two goals.

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