Shepparton News

Bushies carry positive vibes


After a couple of weeks off due to COVID-19 restrictio­ns, the Murray Bushranger­s are back in action this weekend with a home match to Geelong Falcons.

Lockdowns have severely impacted the NAB League under-19 season and, although, play resumes this weekend for the country outfits, the Bushranger­s face another hurdle.

The Bushies will be without their players from NSW for the round 14 encounter at Wangaratta Showground­s, due to the statewide restrictio­ns in that state extending for another week.

But with challenges and adversity everywhere they look, the Bushranger­s’ coach Mark Brown says the outfit is doing its best to focus on the positives.

And that is some of the region’s brightest teenage talents get a chance to pull on the boots on Saturday.

“We are really conscious of the fact that the boys are able to play and what that means to them,” Brown said.

“You have got young boys in the Ovens and Murray, Murray and Picola leagues who can’t and won’t be able to play this weekend.

“It’s a very difficult time for everyone and so we are conscious of the need to focus on the good at the moment and that is that the boys who can play, are able to get out there and kick the footy around.”

With more than half-a-dozen players from NSW unavailabl­e,

Brown said it had opened the door for other talent in the system to get a taste of NAB League football.

Euroa’s Fletcher Paul comes in for his debut, while Shepparton United duo Kaedyn Napier and Bowen Calogero return to the side.

“We play this weekend without our NSW-based players which is a big challenge, but it also presents a very good opportunit­y for some kids to get a glimpse of NAB League footy,” Brown said.

“Fletcher comes in and plays his debut game. He’s a big, strong key defender and we are looking forward to seeing how he performs.

“Kaedyn and Bowen both come back into the side after featuring earlier in the season which is a great opportunit­y for those boys.

“That’s the beauty of the NAB League, that it presents these opportunit­ies and hopefully two or three of the boys coming in can grab the chance and put their names out there.”

● The Bushranger­s take to the field at Wangaratta Showground­s from 1pm tomorrow.

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