Mountain Men lose key pair
BRIGHT faces a season defining month in Ovens and King football but will be without two of its best players from the first half of the season, for the next five weeks.
Brody Ricardi and Kane Michelini are overseas until mid-July and will miss this week’s important clash at Greta as well as key matchups against King Valley and Tarrawingee in rounds 11 and 12.
While the Mountain Men will miss the pace of the two speedy onballers the return of veteran tough-nut Steve Nightingale and possibly former coach Ben Jones will be a boost to the side.
Nightingale has been unavailable for the first eight rounds of the season but will face Greta on Saturday while Jones has been among the best players in the reserves for the past two weeks.
Bright coach Paul Dal- bosco said the pair’s leadership and ball winning ability will most likely be utilised in defence.
“My plan from the start of the year has been to play those two guys down back where it’s a bit easier on their bodies,” Dalbosco said.
“I’d rather put a bit of youth in the midfield with Chad Martin potentially spending more time in there with Brody and Kane away, as well as Nick Howell who hasn’t gone through there much yet.
“Nutta (Nightingale) and Wingers (Jones) have obviously been very good onballers for a long time but I think they can be more beneficial playing a role in defence with their ability to read the play.”
The Mountain Men can replace Greta in sixth place with victory on Saturday and will expect to be 6-4 after a road trip to Bonnie Doon before facing surprise outfit King Valley who are equal top.
Greta has lost its last four matches after opening the season with four straight victories but Dalbosco said his side won’t be taking the Blues lightly despite most pundits tipping a Bright win.
“We’re both 4-4 and a closer look at both teams’ wins and losses probably indicates two fairly even sides so we’re expecting a pretty tough game, especially down there,” he said.
“We need to put four quarters together to win.
“After Greta we’ve got the long journey to Bonnie Doon and then we’re at home to King Valley before playing Tarrawingee away.
“The next four weeks will be a big test for our football club and where we come out at the end of it is entirely up to the boys.”