Centurions excited for Lions test

May 31, 2024 1:00 pm in by
Can Werribee Centrals snap a five-year finals drought in 2024. (Marcel Berens/Sports Media)

Werribee Centrals coach Rhyce Prismall says, “You could have written your own ticket” that tomorrow’s (Saturday’s) Round 8 meeting with the unbeaten Belmont Lions would carry such significance for both clubs.

The Centurions are 7-1, and a win over the Lions will give Prismall’s men their best first half of a season since their most recent grand final appearance in 2010.

The Lions’ 8-0 start is their best opening to a season since the return to a single-division model in 1996.

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“We knew Belmont had recruited very heavily, with big numbers on the track,” Prismall said.

“I think at our level, sometimes, that’s all you need; you just need a bit of depth in your list, and things can change very quickly at GDFL level.

“It’s sort of happened with us as well.”

Prismall admits that the Centrals knew that the clash with the Lions was closing in.

“We don’t like to get too far ahead of ourselves in terms of the playing group and the coaching group,” he said.

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“But, (we’ve) been looking at the fixture a while thinking this four-week block, starting with Thomson last week, and Belmont this week, then we’ve got East Geelong and Inverleigh, knowing that these are four teams that should be playing finals.

“We took care of Thomson last week; unfortunately, they’re a bit injury-ravaged at the moment, so we were fairly lucky. We had a fairly decent team on the park.

“Belmont this week; the boys are very, very excited. There’s a good feel around the club.”

The Centurions will welcome back three-time best-and-fairest Brad Carlton from a knee issue that has sidelined him since Round 5.

Keegan Gilbert is back from overseas and will play his first game since the Round 3 loss to Anakie.

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However, defender Josh Sutton (concussion) and Daniel Stoios (hamstring) will be sidelined.

They are expected to return for the meeting with East Geelong after the King’s Birthday Weekend bye.

The Lions have rushed dual Barwon Heads premiership player Braeden Eddy into their lineup after he was cleared from the Seagulls during the week.

He’s among five changes, with Nathan Jennings, Jakob Steel, Stephen Phillips, and Benjamin Evans returning.

They replace unavailable duo Mikal Harrison and Lachie Dalkin and injured pair Daniel Brockett (finger) and Nick Sherriff (knee)

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East Geelong will be without livewire forward Zac Smith for its matchup with Bannockburn at Victoria Park.

Smith, who has 14 goals from five games after starting the season in the reserves, suffered a hamstring issue in the win over Winchelsea.

Billy Andrew will also be sidelined with a calf complaint.

Former Rookie of the Year Chris Warwick will play his first senior game with the Eagles since 2019, while Bailey Payne has been recalled from the reserves.

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After returning from overseas via the reserves last week, Jack Henderson is one of two inclusions for the Tigers.

Brodie Harding has been promoted from the twos.

They replace Brayden Viccars and Jack Thompson.

North Geelong will be without Tom Schwennesen for the must-win meeting with Bell Post Hill at Keith Barclay Oval.

The gun midfielder is in the concussion protocol and won’t play again until after the King’s Birthday bye.

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The Magpies will also be without Dillon Wickham (knee), while Aaron Best and Ryan Humphries have been dropped.

Aaron Beecroft is back after being sidelined since Round 1, Cooper Pasque and Jake Dalziel have been recalled from the reserves, and Brandon O’Toole will play his first senior game since 2021.

The Panthers regain Cody Chircop and Tom Bryans at the expense of Harvey and Angus Martin.

Inverleigh has welcomed back Fin O’Keefe, Paddy Bourke and young gun Logan Haberfield for its crucial clash with Winchelsea at Eastern Reserve.

They replace star big man Luke Wilson (ankle), Kieran McNally (concussion) and Billy Cations (back).

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The Blues have lost Shaun Morris (shin), Riley Berg (hamstring), and Aaron Cooke (shoulder).

They’ve been replaced by Reuben James, who will play his first game since Round 3, and promoted duo Jack Todd and Callum Nankjervis,

Geelong West will debut off-season recruit Nick Butters among three changes for its meeting with Thomson at Godfrey Street.

The Giants welcome back Aaron Hutchison and Tom Jenkins after both missed the loss to Corio.

Rhys Ginn (ankle), Lachie Turner and Eugene Stanciu are their outs.

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The Tigers have lodged four changes, which includes a debutant.

Jack Stoneham arrived at the club ahead of this season and has played five games in the reserves, featuring in the best on each occasion.

Leyton Thulborn, Zach Plant, and Darcy Kelly have also been named.

Captain Travis McGuire is among the outs.

Bell Park recruit Tom Short will debut for Corio among two changes for its meeting with Anakie at Anakie Reserve.

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The Devils have recalled Noah Bartolo from the reserves for his first senior game since Round 5.

The Roos haven’t named former Richmond and Western Bulldog Sam Lloyd. However, there are suggestions he will make his third appearance of the season against Corio.

X: @krockfootball