RIVERINA League representative coach Guy Orton is happy with his 26-man squad for Saturday’s clash with AFL Canberra despite injury and unavailability virtually forcing his hand.
Orton and his Riverina League selectors have trimmed their squad for Thursday night’s final training session at Narrandera Sportsground, which will then be cut to 22 for the showdown at Robertson Oval on Saturday.
While injury and unavailability have claimed the likes of Luke Gestier, Brent Arho, Jordan Iudica and Bryce O’Garey, there is still a large amount of talent within the squad of 26.
Orton explained that culling the squad has not been difficult to date due to natural attrition.
“Not really, there was a few that had already pulled out and a few injured,” Orton said.
“That sort of made it, not easier, but we haven’t had to go between players and compare who is better, or who can play where.
“It’s been pretty good so far, but in saying that, I’m sure Thursday night will be difficult.”
An injury cloud remains over Mangoplah-Cookardinia United-Eastlakes ruckman Nathan Byrne, but he has been kept in the squad and given until Thursday night to make a decision.
Wagga Tigers captain-coach Shaun Campbell and defender Nick McCormack also remain in the squad despite sustaining injuries against Narrandera.
Orton believes his final squad’s strength will be it’s evenness across the ground.
“I said our forward line and midfield initially but to be honest, it’s all-round really,” Orton said.
“We’ve got some really good runners off half-back and some good defenders down back as well.
“Our forward line has got blokes who can kick goals and in the midfield we’ve got some strong bodies who can go through there, and a bit of experience as well.”
Riverina League representative squad
Collingullie-GP: Marc Geppert, Jayden Klemke, Jimmy Kennedy
Coolamon: Mitch McKelvie, Jamie Maddox, Luke Redfern, Joe Redfern
GGGM: Jacob Olsson
Griffith: Guy Orton, Ben King, Will Griggs
Leeton-Whitton: Tyh Evans, Luke Potter, Tom Meline
MCUE: Harry Collins, Tom Keogh, Nathan Byrne
Narrandera: Jarred Lane
Turvey Park: Truman Carroll, Matt Bailey, Andrew Emery, Josh Ashcroft
Wagga Tigers: Shaun Campbell, Campbell Lovell, John Buchanan, Nick McCormack