Stone still in doubt for Seahawks debut

WARRNAMBOOL Seahawks will confront their second straight Big V road trip with a cloud lingering over star import Sai’Quon Stone’s availability.

Immigration red tape forced the American guard to miss the Seahawks’ round one win against Craigieburn last weekend.

The Seahawks had hoped Stone would be free to debut against Melton Thoroughbreds tonight but were yesterday yet to receive the green light.

Warrnambool coach Bobby Cunningham said it was a disappointing situation, for both club and player.

But the first-year mentor said he was confident it would be resolved shortly, with Stone’s Big V clearance and registration already complete.

“I don’t know what the hold up is — the guy’s been here since February 25,” Cunningham said.

“From our end we thought we’d done everything we needed to do.

“We had a similar thing happen to us last year. 

“Brandon Macklin was cleared the Saturday before the game so we’re hopeful until the ball goes up in the air.”

Cunningham said Stone was “champing at the bit” to make his Seahawks debut.

“We didn’t bring the guy out to sit around for two months but there is nothing we can do about it until we hear from the immigration department,” he said.

“We got told it could take two days or two weeks, so we sit tight and hope for the best.”

Melton lost its season-opener to Sunbury Jets last weekend.

Cunningham said Warrnam-bool, which won just five games in 2013, needed to build on its first-up win and implement the same team-first approach against the Thoroughbreds. 

“We are confident we can go up there and get the job done,” he said.

“I don’t know too much about them but I know they are good inside.

“Cameron McCallum has his brother Mike McCallum alongside him and they’re six foot six and six foot seven respectively. 

“We have to do the best we can do defensively and see what happens.”

Teenage guard Tom Fary will make his Seahawks debut.

His call-up comes a week after fellow development-listed player Sam Gray made his first Big V appearance.

Cunningham said Warrnam-bool was committed to blooding youth this season.

“We are going to try and do that all year, next week will be Isaiah McLeod’s turn,” he said.

“We’ll keep rotating between the under 18 kids for them to see what it’s like.

“It’s good to see these boys playing. When we were playing in the dinosaur age, a lot of young boys didn’t get to play.”

The Seahawks will play their first home game of the season on Saturday, March 29 against Altona Gators.

Cunningham said the club hoped to attract a crowd in excess of 200 for the 7pm fixture. 

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