The Deni Rams will be hoping for a repeat of 2017 when they host Mulwala for round nine of the Murray League tomorrow.
The Rams will go in as underdogs, sitting at the bottom of the ladder with a 0-7 start to the season, while the Lions are in good form with a 5-2 record.
But the home side can go into the game with some confidence, having beaten Mulwala in a two goal upset win when they met at Hardinge St Oval last year and coming off a two week break.
Rams playing coach Todd Gallagher says his side is recharged following two weeks off.
‘‘We’re only about five or six blokes different to the side we had in our win last year,’’ he said.
‘‘We can go in with the mindset that we do have the ability to beat them, but we have to be at our best.
‘‘I’m sure it will be in the back of their minds that they let the game slip last year so they’ll be up and about.
‘‘We had good performances against Tonny and Nathalia despite not winning so we found a bit of form before the double bye.
‘‘We have our annual ball on after the game so hopefully we can get the monkey off the back and have something to really celebrate.’’
Speedy forward Clay Howe will make his return to Ramland, signing on for the rest of the 2018 season.
The 21 year-old comes back to the Rams after two seasons playing for South Bendigo in the Bendigo Football League.
During his time there, Howe managed to break his way into the seniors, playing alongside his brother Nick.
Howe played all of his junior footy with the Rams, also notching up 16 games at senior level for the club before heading to the BFL.
Gallagher said the return of Howe couldn’t have come at a better time.
‘‘Clay moved back to Deni for work after getting an apprenticeship in town,’’ he said.
‘‘He just turned up at training and so I asked if he wanted to come back here.
‘‘He’s coming from a league with some very handy sides in it so he will be able to bring a bit of experience to us.
‘‘It’s always good to have a young bloke come back to town and he’ll be very handy.
‘‘He’ll likely hold a role up forward but is also quite capable of playing onball.’’
The Rams will have a few other changes to the side that played three weeks ago, with Chris O’Connor, Jackson Campbell and Mick Barnett all set to return.
However they will be without veteran defender Sam Callanan (hernia).
‘‘I’m confident in our back six,’’ Gallagher said.
‘‘Obviously we’ll need to shut down Ash Froud but Mulwala have also shown they can win games without him kicking a bag.
‘‘Brady Trotman will get the first crack at Froud but we have others who are quite capable.
‘‘We understand where we’re at but I’m a firm believer that things can turn around.’’
Even though the Rams have picked up some key recruits like Howe and versatile forward Adrian Pappin, the Lions should have their measure tomorrow.
Selection: Mulwala by 10 goals.