Hovey rapt with young­sters

Wangaratta Chronicle - - Sport - BY JEREMY WIL­SON

THE Ovens and Mur­ray’s best young play­ers will hit the ground to­mor­row when they tackle Western Re­gion in the un­der 19 in­ter­league clash at Yar­ra­wonga.

Coached by for­mer Wan­garatta Rovers men­tor Dar­ren Hovey, the O&M has as­sem­bled a strong team with a mix of run­ning play­ers as well as key po­si­tion types.

“I’m rapt with the squad, it’s the strong­est squad we’ve had in the three years I’ve been in­volved,” Hovey said.

“The guys have been con- sis­tently play­ing se­nior football for their sides.

“It’s re­ally healthy for the com­pe­ti­tion.”

Al­bury’s Ben McIn­tosh will cap­tain the side with Jack Schilg his deputy while Ryan Bruce also pro­vides Hovey with some star qual­ity

Yar­ra­wonga star Matt Casey looms as the side’s ace in the pack given his abil­ity to play key for­ward or back.

“It’s a good mix but we are taller than the last two years,” Hovey said.

“You look down the spine and we have guys like Lo­gan Hamil­ton, Matt Casey, Blayke St John if he doesn’t get a game for Bushies and Michael Oats.

“It doesn’t look like we will need to ro­tate guys around too much be­cause we have picked a pretty po­si­tional type side.”

Hovey said he wasn’t sure what to ex­pect from the Western Re­gion side but said fo­cus­ing on his own group was more im­por­tant.

.“That’s the safest way to go,” he said.

“We will just be work­ing on what we have as strengths and re­mind the boys that while most of them have been play­ing se­nior football, this is an­other level above what they are used to.

“They are play­ing the best kids from an­other re­gion and those kids are sim­i­lar in that they have been in­volved in strong pro­grams and are of sim­i­lar abil­i­ties.”

be joined in the back line by the likes of Jon Spina and Nick Mered­ith from Lav­ing­ton as well as po­ten­tially Mat Gross­man and Michael Bordignon to stamp the elite level de­fend­ers at the Ovens and Mur­ray’s dis­posal.

“I re­ally want to keep my op­po­nent goal­less; I think that’s the goal of any de­fender,” Van Berlo said.

“We have a re­ally solid back­line so hope­fully I can cut across and help some of them out.

“As a group we want to play well and get the win, and per­son­ally, I want to limit my op­po­nent and get my hands on the footy early.”

The Ovens and Mur­ray take on Western Re­gion to­mor­row at Yar­ra­wonga with the match start­ing at 2pm. UN­SUNG HERO: Dy­lan Van Berlo is set to fea­ture heav­ily for the O&M to­mor­row.

READY TO SWOOP: Mer­riwa Mag­pies player, Daniel Cas­tle (cen­tre), Scott Grant from Mer­riwa (left) and Ros Tay­lor, team man­ager for the Mer­riwa Mag­pies, are all ex­cited for the first car­ni­val of the year.

jwil­son@ ne­me­dia.com.au

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